Rapper Ja Rule was released from an upstate New York prison early Thursday morning.
The platinum-selling hip hop artist was just shy of completing a two year prison sentence stemming from an illegal gun possession charge. Ja Rule reportedly earned his early release on terms of good behavior. However, the release did not mark the end of the rapper’s legal troubles.
The Associated Press writes that the entertainer was released at 9:30 this morning from the Mid-State Correctional Facility. He was escorted by US Marshals and transferred directly into the custody of federal agents.
Ja Rule, born Jeffery Atkins, has time left on a 28-month sentence incurred in a tax evasion case. The sentences were expected to run concurrently and roughly six months still remain.
Where he will serve out the remaining time has not been confirmed. However, some have speculated that he may qualify for a halfway house rather than additional prison time.
According to AllHipHop, Ja Rule’s federal case centered on his failure to pay taxes on over $3 million in income earned from 2004 through 2006. During his court appearance, the entertainer admitted his negligence and made a statement to the judge:
“I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal. I was a young man who made a lot of money — I’m getting a little choked up — I didn’t know how to deal with these finances, and I didn’t have people to guide me, so I made mistakes.”
According to Stacey Richman, the rapper’s defense lawyer, Ja Rule still owes the government more than $1 million in back taxes. Ja Rule hopes to resume his music career shortly to facilitate repayment of his debt.
Richman told Rolling Stone the following:
“Many people are looking forward to experiencing his talent again.”
Are you looking forward to new music from Ja Rule now that he’s been released from prison?