Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
12/10/2003 6:28:18 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Snoop Dogg and Bad Azz.
A roster of rap stars could make their next appearances in a federal courtroom in Salt Lake City.
The artists, including Snoop Dog and Bad Azz, are listed as possible witnesses in the trial of Weldon Angelos, founder of a Utah record label who faces charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and weapons violations. His defense attorney wants to show jurors that Angelos made money legally through his work in the music industry.
"It's important to show the legitimacy of his earning power," attorney Jerome Mooney said Tuesday.
Other musicians listed as potential witnesses include Napoleon, Benjalino and Daz Dillinger.
The trial, which began Monday, also will feature testimony about alleged gang activity, which raised safety concerns in at least one juror. U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell tried to reassure the jury, saying that no special security procedures were needed in the matter. "This is just a routine type of case we're handling here," he said.
Angelos is charged with 20 counts of distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm with a removed serial number, money laundering and for using a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 135 years behind bars if convicted on all charges.
In addition to prison time, federal authorities are seeking to seize property they claim Angelos obtained through his alleged criminal activity or used in a crime, including a 1993 BMW, a 2001 Lexus, about $40,000 in cash, five handguns and a rifle.
The defendant's company, Extravagant Records, recently released a rap CD featuring several musicians, including Snoop Dog. The label is based in Utah but Angelos does a lot of his work in the Compton and Long Beach, Calif., areas, according to Mooney.
The trial is expected to last through the week.
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