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Hip-Hop News: Beanie Sigel Pleads Guilty
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
4/6/2004 10:24:46 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Beanie Sigel.

For Philly rap star Beanie Sigel, life truly imitates his art.

After just completing a new gangster movie and his third "gangsta rap" CD, Sigel has agreed to plead guilty to possession of drugs and being a felon in possession of a gun, his attorney confirmed yesterday.

U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick, who let Sigel travel to New York to film the movie sequel last month, has scheduled a hearing for Thursday afternoon in federal court in Philadelphia to ensure that Sigel's guilty plea is voluntary.

Sigel, 30, whose two earlier CDs sold more than 12 million copies, will be facing a prison term in the three-year range for the gun and drugs rap.

Two city SWAT cops, Ed Quintana and Tim Elia, arrested Sigel near 20th and Moore streets last April 20 shortly after 2 a.m. following a high speed auto chase and brief foot pursuit.

Quintana said he saw Sigel toss a stolen Mauser .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with nine rounds as the rapper fled on foot.

The cops seized a variety of drugs from the black 2002 Cadillac Escalade he was driving that night, including two 16-ounce bottles of codeine, one bottle of hydrocodine, seven Alprazolam tabs, 21 Oxycodone tabs, 10 codeine tabs and a small bag or marijuana, court records show.

One of Sigel's attorneys, Fortunato N. Perri Jr., said he is hoping for a shorter sentence for the rap star.

"He's prepared to accept responsibility," Perri told a Daily News reporter.

Sigel, who has been under house arrest in the federal case, goes on trial next week in state court on aggravated assault and attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting and nearly killing a man outside a bar last year.

Sigel is accused of shooting the man once in the leg and once in the stomach last July 1.

He also awaits trial for allegedly beating a 53-year old man in January 2003, fracturing the man's eye socket.

Perri and co-counsel Cheryl A. Krause and Nina Russakoff, insist there's a good side to Sigel.

A former church choirboy, Sigel became a rap star but stayed "involved in the South Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up," the lawyers noted in court records.

Before the federal arrest, Sigel, who took his stage name from a narrow neighborhood street; had supported "community workshops" and sporting events for youth; told kids to stay in school; hosted "dollar days" to give children money; tended to a paralyzed man; volunteered for a bone marrow transplant for a leukemia victim, helped others find good jobs and was planning to open "a non-profit" recreation center.

"His good deeds have significantly affected the lives of many," his lawyers told Surrick.

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