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Rapper T.I. Sentenced on Weapons Charges, Gets 1-Year and a Fine

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on March 27, 2009 9:57 AM

Clifford Harris, more famously known as the rapper T.I., appeared in federal court today for sentencing on weapons-related charges. According to CNN, he was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay a $100,300 fine on weapons charges, as was expected.

The same report described how the charges arose:

"Harris was caught in a federal sting after his bodyguard-turned-informant delivered three machine guns and two silencers to him, prosecutors said.

Harris had provided the bodyguard with $12,000 to buy the weapons. Harris was not permitted to own any guns, however, because he was convicted in 1998 on felony drug charges, including possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute in Cobb County in suburban Atlanta."

Other terms of the plea agreement apparently included community service (1000 hours), which by numerous accounts being provided by defense attorneys to the sentencing judge, T.I. performed admirably.

Under federal law (specifically, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)) it is illegal for felons to "possess" any firearm or ammunition ... anywhere ... ever. Authorities take a particularly harsh view of machine guns and silencers, as well. As can be imagined, violations of the weapons possession law are a common reason why federal felons end up back in prison. The offense also can carry hefty penalties (10 years), and those convicted may also face enhanced sentencing penalties.

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