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September 8, 2011

More of the (interesting?) story behind T.I. getting sent back to federal prison

This AP story, headlined "Report: Feds transferred T.I. over business flap," provides more details on the mistakes made by a high-profile defendant during a high-profile trip to a halfway house:

Grammy-winning rapper T.I. was sent back to federal prison after corrections officials discovered a manager and a TV producer were traveling with him on a luxury bus as he transferred to a halfway house in Georgia, according to documents obtained today by The Associated Press.

The two were not authorized to travel or conduct business with T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, during the 375-mile journey from the Arkansas federal prison, the Department of Justice incident report said. It said T.I. indicated he was discussing a new reality series and book with the individuals but said he wasn't being interviewed.

T.I. was making the journey last week after he had been released a month early from a sentence for violating probation, and a VH1 reality show and book deal were announced within hours of his release. Attorney Steve Sadow said the rapper didn't violate prison rules because those deals already were finalized. "There wasn't any business to conduct," he said. "These were just two people riding back with him."

The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment.  The performer remains in federal custody.

T.I. made the trip from Arkansas to Atlanta with his wife, Tameka Cottle Harris, manager Brian Sher and producer Cris Abrego, the co-president of 51 Minds Entertainment, a company that specializes in reality TV shows, according to letters provided to the AP....

T.I. had initially served about seven months in prison in 2009 after he was arrested for trying to buy unregistered guns and silencers from undercover federal agents.  He was on probation after he was released and ordered not to commit another crime or to illegally possess any controlled substances.  He then was arrested in Los Angeles in September 2010 after authorities said he was found with four ecstasy pills.

He was sentenced to 11 months in prison for that violation and had been set for release at the end of September, but he was allowed to transfer to an Atlanta halfway house about a month early.  He was returned to federal prison a day later, and his attorneys say they will fight that move.

September 8, 2011 at 05:23 PM | Permalink


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In the first offense, TI decided to become a "RAT" for Federal prosecutors and sent his close pal off to a 20 year sentence. Why isn't he condemnded as a SNITCH my his followers?

Posted by: mike | Sep 8, 2011 10:56:50 PM

I don't know who you are, Mike. But you have no earthly idea what you are talking about. I was TI's attorney then and now and he has NEVER cooperated and NEVER will. I strongly suggest you find another forum in which to display your total ignorance. Have a nice day!

Posted by: steve sadow | Sep 9, 2011 7:09:35 AM

I strongly disagree Mr. Sadow with your analysis on T.I.. Pursuant to Pacer, a sealed document was filed right before sentencing, which STRONGLY signifies that a 5k.1 was filed on your client's behalf. Your client was facing a MANDATORY sentence pursuant to Federal Sentencing Guidelines as well. As most people are cognizant that it is impossible for a Judge to sentence below the mandatory guidelines without a 5k.1. Your past client, William "Doc" Marshall received a similar downward departure again for his substantial cooperation. I understand that it is your mantra to defend your clients, and get the lowest possible sentence, but the truth is the truth.

Posted by: Jailhouse Lawyer | Sep 9, 2011 10:09:43 AM

We file sealed sentencing memoranda frequently, not to hide cooperation, but because often such memos recount the most painful and embarrassing aspects of a defendant's life (prior sex abuse, drug addiction, family problems, etc.), and we think that those things should remain private, not in the public record.

Posted by: def atty | Sep 9, 2011 10:28:02 AM

Dear Def Atty,
I just want to clarify my comments regarding the mandatory minimum that were not addressed in your blog. A mandatory minimum sentence is driven by federal statute. Usually, mandatory minimum sentences come into play because you have a prior drug trafficking conviction, you exceed a certain drug weight/quantity, your crime involved the use of a firearm or you are a career offender. There are other things that trigger the mandatory minimums but these are some of the more common reasons. The judge cannot go below the mandatory minimum sentence imposed by statute without a 3553(e) motion by the government. The only way to get the government to submit that motion is through COOPERATION. Please let me know if I am factually incorrect in my statements.

Posted by: Jailhouse Lawyer | Sep 9, 2011 1:19:00 PM

Mr. Jailhouse Lawyer, there was no minimum mandatory sentence in TI's case; he did not cooperate. The record shows that "Doc" did cooperate and his sentence was reduced from 30+ years to 6 years. And that is the truth!

Posted by: Steve Sadow | Sep 11, 2011 2:08:11 PM

Please clarify USSG that a felon in possession of a firearm does not warrant 5 year mandatory minimum, and another 5 years for the silencer. The judge deviated greatly pursuant to the guidelines for your client, and I do not believe he was a fan of rap either. It was well known that AUSA wanted a certain other individual in Atlanta, and this was the trade. At least "Doc" did not hide that he was telling on at least 27 other individuals. Mind you, I have the utmost respect for your abilities, but your big fees are from the big thugs.

Posted by: Jailhouse Lawyer | Sep 12, 2011 9:25:10 AM

FYI, Please let me know if I am factually incorrect under USSG:
18 USC § 924(c). Punishment ranges from at least 5 years up to life imprisonment,
without parole, or death if death results from use of firearm. Sentence must be
served consecutive to any other sentence. Mandatory minimum sentence increases
depending upon: the type of firearm involved (sawed-off gun, silencer, etc.);
whether more than one offense was committed; and whether gun was simply
possessed or was brandished or discharged.

This is just for the gun, I have not added the silencer, or the automatic weapon, which would run all CONSECUTIVE not CONCURRENT

Posted by: Jailhouse Lawyer | Sep 12, 2011 10:19:00 AM

Jailhouse Lawyer...I admire your tenacity. Mr. Sadow makes millions off defending rap stars, so it is certainly in his best interest to monitor legal blogs, etc. and rush to T. I.'s defense whenever someone mentions that T. I. is a snitch, so that T. I.'s cover won't be blown and the money train will keep rolling on. As for my opinion, you can't spell "SNITCH" without "T and I".

Posted by: mike | Sep 12, 2011 10:33:28 AM

TI did not plead to 924(c). That has to do with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 924(c) does carry a mandatory minimum but possesion of a firearm by a convicted felon does not; only carries a max sentence of 10 years.

And Mike, you are still wrong on TI; he did not cooperate. Feel free to call the former US Attorney now Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias to confirm. (By your count, that means I made another million or so!)

Posted by: Steve Sadow | Sep 12, 2011 11:24:05 AM

I stand corrected he pled under 922(o) and (g), as well as USC 5841, 5861(d), and 5871. Three counts to run consecutive, as well you had forgot to mention that your client was either a Level III or Level IV on the criminal worksheet. I might as well mention, which is easily available that there were 12 weapons involved. These weapons were of high caliber, and automatic weapons. They were clearly not intended for hunting, or recreation purposes, but rather for drive by shootings. The AUSA made a poor choice for leniency in your client, as he will be a perpetual violator, which is good for your business, and actually good for his record sales, and VH1 documentary.

Posted by: Jailhouse Lawyer | Sep 12, 2011 2:04:46 PM

I do not deny he got a great deal; a very very lenient sentence. But isn't that what I am suppose to do as his attorney? I simply wanted to point out he did not cooperate and there was no mandatory minimum.

Posted by: Steve Sadow | Sep 12, 2011 2:58:41 PM

I have always believed that you are a very talented criminal defense attorney, and have gotten some extraordinary sentence reductions for your clients. I just felt the necessity to state that these sentences come at a considerable cost in fees, and other consideration that is usually filed under seal. Furthermore, there is no question that your client will be a future resident of the BOP, as he readily believes that the rules do not apply to him at both the BOP, and at Dismas Charities. I thank you again for your candor, and do not be so harsh on Mike, as he has done more for others than all your clients combined.

Posted by: Jailhouse Lawyer | Sep 12, 2011 11:33:02 PM

No problem. I just firmly believe in factual and legal accuracy, even if it is in a blog comment. Opinions are fine but should not be stated as truth.

Posted by: Steve Sadow | Sep 13, 2011 11:40:21 AM

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