LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --A youth mentor with a gang history claimed to help Louisville fight problems with juvenile crime -- but police say he used kids to sell drugs on the street.

His name is Shermonte Mayfield, but he's better known as "Young Commercial" -- a rapper and party promoter popular in West Louisville.

In 2014, Mayfield told authorities he organized the gathering at Waterfront Park that turned into a violent teen mob. In March 2015, he started working with the city, volunteering with Louisville's Safe neighborhoods team.

Director Anthony Smith says Mayfield organized two teen anti-violence rallies that were successful. Nearly 200 kids attended the events without incident

"He was always honest about his past," Smith said. "He said, 'I had a past. I'm cleaning up. I'm going down a different road. I don't want that lifestyle any more.'"

"Working with Y.C., we knew that we could get some kids into the community centers who would never come into the community centers," Smith added.

But police say Mayfield's influence was a cover up for crime. Officers raided his PRP home earlier this week, finding drugs, guns and cash. They arrested five people and say Mayfield used teens to sell his drugs.

"I appreciate the irony," said Alex Dathorne, Mayfield's defense attorney. "But that being said, you have to also appreciate we're talking about a twenty-something-year-old kid who made foolish decisions in the past and came from a troubled upbringing, and probably sometimes our mentors need mentors as well."

Police say Mayfield already has felony convictions and prior ties with gangs.

"I think he was trying to do the right thing," said Smith. "I think the street life -- sometimes it's hard for people to move away from it."

The 27-year-old rapper says he's innocent and wrote it all over Facebook, encouraging teens to attend a party this weekend that will help pay his bond.

For Young Commercial, it's business as usual -- even behind bars.

Smith says he does not regret allowing Mayfield to partner with the Safe Neighborhoods team.

Mayfield is due back in court next month.


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