Beanie Sigel Sentenced To A Year In Prison

Philly rapper Beanie

Sigel was sentenced today for being a felon in possession of a gun and for possession

of drugs.

Sigel was sentenced

to a year in prison for an April 20, 2003 incident. He was also given two years

probation and must pay a $25,000 fine.

Sigel was accused

of leading police on a high speed chase and foot pursuit. During the chase,

the rapper tossed a stolen .45 semiautomatic pistol loaded with nine rounds.

A search of his

SUV turned up a variety of drugs.

Judge R. Barclay

Surrick sentenced Sigel. In the past, Surrick gave Sigel leniency, allowing

Sigel to perform, travel to New York and record new material.

In a three page

letter, Sigel had requested mercy from the judge with respect to his mandatory


“I had let

myself get caught up in something,” Sigel said, referring to an addiction

to drugs.

Sigel completed

a 28-day inpatients program at the Hazelden clinic in Minnesota. According to

court records, Sigel was addicted to drugs by the age of 14 and would smoke

a quarter ounce of marijuana per day.

He was also taking

as many as six Percocet and Zanax per day.

“He convinced

himself that drugs were necessary for him to produce better music,” his

attorneys said.

Surrick said he

showed Sigel leniency due to the rapper’s recent charitable efforts and

the fact that he completed the drug program.

Sigel is still

attending individual and group therapy. The defense argued that Sigel’s

recent troubles were due to stress from work and family responsibilities.

Prosecutors painted

a different Sigel, pointing to his past criminal record and two violent incidents

last year.

Sigel is awaiting

trial for allegedly punching a 53-year-old man in the face. He will also go

on trial a second time, for allegedly shooting another man in the stomach outside

of a Philadelphia bar. The first trial ended in a hung jury.

“The history

of violence, use of firearms and drug dealing indicates that the defendant is

a danger to the community and that he is likely to commit other crimes,”

prosecutors said.