Quando Rondo granted bond while facing drug, gang charges

Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2023 at 5:14 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Chatham County judge has granted Savannah rapper Quando Rondo bail after he was indicted on street gang and drug charges.

Judge Tammy Stokes said Quando Rondo whose real name is Tyquian Bowman meets the requirements for bail and that he has significant ties to the community.

That bail was set at $100,000.

Bowman is charged with drug offenses and violating the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

During Friday’s hearing, Bowman’s lawyers showed the judge a letter from his record label Atlantic Records which they say voiced support for the rapper.

Prosecutors claimed that Bowman was a leader of the Rolling 60′s street gang, and that makes him a danger to the community because that the group is one of the largest and most violent gangs in Savannah.

Ultimately, Judge Tammy Stokes granted the rapper bond saying in part: “While the evidence showed Defendant travels due to his career in the music industry, no significant evidence was presented indicating his travel would prevent him from failing to appear in court when required to do so. The court finds it significant that Defendant surrendered himself for arrest the day after he learned of the warrant for his arrest.”

Under the terms of his bond Bowman can’t have contact with any of the other 18 co-defendants listed on the indictment. He has to give up his passport and can’t use any firearms or illegal drugs among other conditions.

The court says Bowman was convicted of a non-violent felony back in 2017.

Court history

This isn’t the first time the rapper has been accused of gang activity by the state.

He was first accused of gang activity at a hearing where the state wanted to take away his probation on a 2017 conviction for possession of a firearm by a minor.

Back in 2019, the State filed a motion to revoke Quando’s probation on those charges, saying that he was involved in street gang activity. However, his probation wasn’t revoked, and they ended up dropping the petition altogether.

Court records show that in January 2019, Quando Rondo was arrested for fighting someone at the Oglethorpe Mall. The official charge was affray, as well as violation of his probation.

He was given bond on the violation of probation charge, but after that was granted, the state filed a motion to revoke his probation altogether- saying that “the fight at the mall was between rival gangs and rival gang members,” and accusing him of violating the Street Gang Terrorism Act.

The lawyer who originally represented Quando ended up leaving the case due to a conflict because he also represented the other person involved in the fight at the mall.

He was replaced by Geoffrey Alls. Alls, who now works for the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office, accused the State of handling the case unethically in 2019.

In a hearing about the probation being revoked, the State was asking to continue the case.

Alls said in court, “These are games. They have done a lot of unethical things in this case. We would not like it to be moved. We’d ask that it go forward today. We are here and we are ready.”

After everything, the state ultimately gave up on revoking Rondo’s probation and also dropped their accusation that he was involved in gang activity.

WTOC confirmed with the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office that though Alls is working for them now, he is not working on Quando’s current case, as that would be a conflict of interest.

WTOC also received a letter written by Quando’s record label to Judge Tammy Stokes, asking that she let him out on bond - which she ended up doing. In the letter they describe Quando as “one of our most important signings in recent years,” and say that they are willing to support him if he’s granted bond.

The letter, written by Lanre Gaba, who works for the Atlantic Recording Corporation, says that he and those at the label believe that Quando is “only at the start of an incredibly long and promising career.”

They go on to say that he’s a “financial and emotional pillar” for his family, saying he spends a lot of time with his daughter and his aunts, who he supports financially.

They also cite community service that Quando has been involved with, saying he has participated in free shoe giveaways, bought uniforms for local youth sports teams, and given speeches to kids about the importance of education.

The letter goes on to say that if Quando is granted bond, the Atlantic Records team will ensure his presence at court hearings, meetings, and appointments.

They say that “unlike many defendants who come before this court, Mr. Bowman has unique talents through which, if given an opportunity, he will be able to change the course of his life as he is on the precipice of significant success.”

In Judge Stokes’ decision to grant bond, she specifically referenced Atlantic Records’ support of Quando Rondo, also saying his travel schedule wouldn’t prevent him from appearing in court.

You can read the full letter below:


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