Ja Rule begins two-year prison sentence on gun charge
Ja Rule turned himself in Wednesday to begin serving two years in New York state prison stemming from a weapons-related arrest in 2007. The sentence came down after the rapper, real name Jeffrey Atkins, entered a guilty plea in December on attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
Police said that after pulling Rule's ride over for speeding after a July 2007 concert in New York, they found an unlicensed, loaded, semiautomatic weapon in his Maybach. The rapper was arrested and released the next day on $150,000 bail.
In March, Rule pleaded guilty in New Jersey to three counts of failing to file a tax return, admitting that he'd failed to pay income tax on more than $3 million earned from 2004 through 2006, with prosecutors dropping charges related to earnings in 2007 and 2008. Facing up to a year in prison and $100,000 fine for each count, he's scheduled to be sentenced in that case on Monday. He also agreed to pay $1.1 million in back taxes.
"Real life is a fantasy, [forget] fame ... I'm ready for this to get over with. I am focused," the 35-year-old told friends and family before parting company at Manhattan Superior Court, TMZ reported.
"I'm disappointed," the multi-platinum rapper said in an April interview on MTV. "I'm mad at myself." He said he felt like he'd let down his wife, teen daughter and two sons.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
Photos: Rapper Ja Rule, real name Jeffrey Atkins, arrives at Manhattan Supreme Court with wife Aisha Atkins, left, and waves to supporters in the courtroom, right, where he was sentenced June 8, 2011, to two years on a weapons plea. Credits: Andrew Kelley / Reuters, left; Marc A. Hermann / Reuters, right.