Ja Rule Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison
Ja Rule is headed to jail. CNN reports that the 34 year-old rapper will face two years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon today in New York.
The sentence stems from a 2007 incident also involving Lil Wayne in which police found a loaded semi-automatic firearm with the serial number scratched off hidden in the backseat of Ja Rule’s luxury Maybach sedan. “Despite having some of the strongest anti-gun laws in the nation, gun violence continues to plague this city,” District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said. “Gun crimes are serious offenses, and today’s guilty plea should send a serious message to anyone thinking of illegally bringing a gun into New York City.”
Stacey Richman, Ja Rule’s attorney, said the result of the case was “unreasonable” after the rapper (whose real name is Jeff Atkins) “stepped up and took responsibility” for the violation.
Authorities are looking to make a statement about gun violence – especially for kids and teens. Gun crimes have gone up slightly in Manhattan this year, and nearly a quarter of the 240 defendants indicted on gun possession charges in 2010 were identified as 18 years old or younger. ”These are kids that should be headed to school, not a prison cell or an early grave,” Vance said. “So we have a full-court press on those who possess loaded firearms in Manhattan, or who those sell loaded firearms.”
According to Us Weekly, Ja Rule’s sentence could have been a lot worse had he gone to trial; he would have faced up to 7 years in jail if found guilty. Instead, he will likely serve 16 months in prison followed by 18 months’ probation.
“Minor setback for a major comeback,” Ja Rule tweeted about the sentence.