YouTube rappers charged with threatening police, New Bedford probation officer

Grant Welker

Two men who police say are members of a local rap group were arrested after appearing in a profanity-laced YouTube video threatening a state police officer and a New Bedford District Court probation officer. The video contains images of crime scenes, guns, police officers and police cars.

New Bedford police are also mentioned in the video, and the rappers threaten violence if they are pulled over or arrested by the police. The trooper and probation officer are mentioned by name, each followed by the image of a gun and the sound of a bullet being fired.

Two members of the rap group 508 Productions were arrested on Saturday and each charged with two counts of threatening to commit a crime, as well as threatening to use a firearm and intimidation of a witness.

The men are 24-year-old Matthew Rufino of 406 Potter St. in New Bedford and Jason Foley, 28, of 115 Spring St. in Fairhaven. Both were arraigned Monday in New Bedford District Court and held without bail. Dangerousness hearings for both are scheduled for Monday, Bristol County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Gregg Miliote said.

State police and the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office are continuing an investigation.

A state police detective assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office learned of the video on Friday, state police spokesman Dave Procopio said. He declined to say whether others in the video could be charged. At least two other men appeared.

The four-minute video was posted to YouTube on Nov. 1 and has been watched about 2,000 times. Called “WATCH 4 ME,” it includes members of the rap group bragging about making America’s Most Wanted, images of smashed police cars, warnings of violence against police and derogatory statements made about police. Background noises include sirens and gunshots.

“I’m not putting my hands behind my back,” is one of the few lines without obscenities. “You ain’t gonna tell me nothing, try to pull me over next time,” another line says, followed by the image and sound of someone behind a car firing a gun on the side of the road.

The group has a dozen other videos on YouTube, many with the same type of violent images and words. A separate Taunton-based group called 508 Productions manages and books local bands.

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