Rapper T.I. Appears In Court; Officially Sentenced To Prison

Hip-Hop star T.I. appeared in federal court today (March 27), where he was sentenced to one year in prison for buying illegal machine guns and silencers in October of 2007.
T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr. was caught purchasing the weapons in an Atlanta parking lot, just moments before he was scheduled to take the stage at the BET Awards on October 13, 2007.

He was arrested and released on $3 million dollars bond, after one of his former bodyguards helped arrange the purchase with an undercover agent.

In March of 2007, T. I. pleaded guilty to illegal firearms possession and being a convicted felon with a firearm.

T.I.’s defense team of Dwight Thomas and Steve Sadow worked out a plea deal with prosecutors, which allowed the rapper to avoid the federally mandated 4 and a half years for his crime.

He was ordered to complete at least 1,000 hours of community service and serve the one-year prison term.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell approved the plea deal today under the terms and sentenced T.I. to one year in prison.

He must also pay an $100,000 fine and perform another 500 hours worth of community service.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, T.I. could be freed from the feds’ custody in as little as ten months, for good behavior credits.

Today’s hearing was attended by friend and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, as well as Ex-DeKalb Count CEO, Vernon Jones.

Jones acknowledged T.I.’s impact in pop culture and believes the rapper has made a positive difference since his arrest.

While under house arrest, he completed his sixth solo album Paper Trail, which moved over 568,000 copies during its first week in stores.

The album produce several hit singles including “Whatever You Like,” “Live Your Live” featuring Rihanna and his most recent, “Dead and Gone” featuring Justin Timberlake.

He also won a Grammy Award for his verse on the “Swagga Like Us” remix, featuring Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne.

T.I. also managed to find the time to visit 25 states where he attended more than 260 events, spoke at 58 schools, 12 Boys and Girls Clubs, nine churches and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.