NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A federal judge in the trial against an amateur New York City rapper and alleged gang leader lashed out at the gallery in court on Wednesday.

To federal prosecutors, the rap music career of Ronald Herron, known as Ra Diggs, is just a cover for his life as a gang leader and a crack dealer who murdered his rivals in the Gowanus Houses, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.

There were plenty of witnesses to the three killings, but they were allegedly threatened and refused to testify in his earlier trials in state court, Cornell reported.

Ra Diggs crowed about those victories in a rap song with the words “Twice I went head to head with Charles Hynes’ Office and I never lost, I’m a boss.”

Federal judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that the prosecutor could use those rap lyrics as evidence against Herron, in order to bolster the testimony of witnesses who were still scared.

As the trial began, fans and supporters of Ra Diggs packed the courtroom, whispering and gesturing, leading the judge to bellow “No one’s going to eyeball my witnesses from the gallery.”

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