Denver is a born and raised rapper FBP Moe, aka Moses Phillip Fernandez Jr. (or Moses Baca), is on the run from the law after nine of his employees were arrested by a law enforcement task force in Denver last week. Fernandez is a leading member of the Few But Plenty collective, which he described as “a unique family” of collaborators in a 2019 interview with Westword. But the group, which includes several other rappers with “FBP” in their monikers, is now being called “a violent criminal company” by Michael Gaskill, the head of the RAVEN (Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network) that carried out the arrests.
After a two-year investigation called “Operation Ricochet,” Fernandez and nine other FBP members were indicted for 114 crimes involving 47 different victims in the subway area, “most of them drive-by shootings by rivals,” according to the Denver District Attorney. Beth McCann. All are remanded in custody with the exception of Fernandez, who officials believe may be hiding in Las Vegas or California.
Fernandez originally made headlines back in 2019 when the music video for his song “No Pressure” went viral on YouTube and garnered millions of views. Only eighteen, when the video was released, Fernandez spoke with baby face openly about the dangers and struggles he had faced when growing up on the west side of Denver. The song itself was a response to the shooting of his cousin (known as “King Daniel”) and hinted at retaliation with lines like “We’re not playing around, we have to pull a murder.” Meanwhile, members of the FBP crew waved blue bandanas in the background and threw gang signs.
According to ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun, the FBP’s music described “an excellent number of their crimes.” But hip-hop often acts in hyperbole, and it’s not uncommon for a rapper to refer to surpassing his rivals as “murder” or to use other violent metaphors. But it is also not uncommon for language to be literal. As Fernandez said Westword, “I would describe my music as real. You can feel the pain in it, it’s all authentic.” But with lines like “.45 on me just to make sure I get through shit / I lost both my brothers so I have to stay with two clips” (from “We Gon Ride,” with FBP Phil and FBP Shotta) , Fernandez can now regret some of his raw honesty.
Fernandez and the other nine FBP members indicted – Armando Manuel Burciaga, Astrea Felicia Rucobo, Devon Nathan Montoya, Guage Frank Trujillo, Isaiah Aaron Martinez, Julio Bladimir Menjivar, Max Anthony Ramirez, Paul Lawrence Baca III and Shoveen Taron Hainesworth – is charged with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, criminal attempted first-degree murder, first-degree criminal assault, unlawful firing of a firearm, and several other offenses.
That ATF offers a reward of up to $ 5,000 for any information that led to the arrest of Fernandez.