Rapper Beanie Sigel was sentenced Wednesday to six to 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to a narcotics possession charge in a Philadelphia suburb.
Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, entered the plea to a misdemeanor count of illegal possession of Percocet, a painkiller, The Delaware County Daily Times (http://bit.ly/169dIDU) reported. Sigel has been behind bars since his Aug. 29 arrest following a traffic stop in Tinicum Township just hours after the release of his latest solo album, "This Time."
Defense attorney Carson Morris called his client a successful entertainer who had made some mistakes, but said "he's ready to go ahead and put that behind him and move on with his life."
"Mr. Grant has been a successful entertainer and musician in the Philadelphia community for decades," Morris said. "Obviously, he's had an incredible amount of success and opportunity in his life. He's also made some mistakes, which have ended up putting him in custody. He's ready to go ahead and put that behind him and move on with is life."
Co-defendant Gerald Andrews, 41, who was driving, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a firearms charge and was sentenced to 2½ to 5 years, which Judge Michael Coll noted was well below the usual range.
Sigel is also facing a two-year federal sentence for tax evasion. Federal prosecutors said he owed more than $700,000 for the tax years 1999 through 2005.
Morris said the plea agreement called for the drug sentence to run at the same time as the federal sentence. Coll said he couldn't dictate what the federal court would do, but he wished Sigel luck and asked if the two cases would significantly impact his career.
Morris said Sigel has recently experienced serious financial problems, mainly due to the tax issue.
"He has a lot of catching up to do, but he also has a lot of talent and a lot of opportunity, hopefully," Morris said. "So the prospect is that he can get out and move on and start doing something productive with his life."
Information from: Delaware County Daily Times, http://www.delcotimes.com