Ja Rule says he will put prison time to good use


Rapper turned actor, Ja Rule turned himself in to New York City officials Wednesday to begin a two-year prison stint on a felony weapon possession charge. He pleaded guilty in December 2010.

Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, will serve his time at an upstate New York Correctional Facility where he told the Associated Press he hopes to put his time to good use by obtaining his GED, learning to play the guitar, and writing a book. Prison officials will process the rapper at Riker’s Island before transferring him to another facility.

Atkins, who lives in a pricey mansion in Saddle River with his wife and four children, said he was disappointed with himself, but is ready to “man up” to what he has done to lead to this juncture in his life. MTV News reported.

Manhattan Criminal Court Justice Richard Carruthers gave the rapper a three-month reprieve before entering prison, against prosecutor’s wishes, after his lawyer requested additional time to resolve Atkins’ federal tax problems, the New York Daily News reported.

The one-time Grammy award nominee is facing additional prison time after he pleaded guilty in Newark Federal Court in March to failing to pay taxes on more than $3 million of income between 2004 and 2006. His lawyers are hoping the native New Yorker will serve both sentences concurrently. The government agreed to dismiss similar charges for unpaid taxes on income earned in 2007 and 2008 as part of a plea agreement. Sentencing on the tax evasion charges are set for this month.
The 35-year-old multi-platinum artist’ two-year prison term stems from a 2007 traffic stop on the Upper West Side of New York City for speeding. In addition to the registration being suspended, officers also discovered a.40-caliber Taurus pistol inside the 2004 luxurious Maybach that had the serial number scratched off. The rapper was leaving a concert where he performed alongside rapper Lil’ Wayne — who was also arrested that night on an unrelated charge — at the Beacon Theatre.

This is not Atkins first scrape with the law. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to assault after he punched a man in a Toronto nightclub, and received a $1,200 fine. The victim later sued the rapper and they settled out of court. On July 1, 2004, Ja Rule was arrested with Don Rhys for driving with a suspended license and possessing marijuana. According to his publicist, Courtney Barnes, Atkins sentence could leave prison six months early for good behavior.

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