Poor Beanie Sigel. The rapper just can't stay out of trouble with the feds.
Sigel, who spent a year in jail after being sentenced in 2004 for drug and weapons offenses, was back in federal court yesterday for violating terms of his supervised release for a third time.
Authorities said Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, gave a false urine sample to probation officials on Feb. 29 and also tested positive five times earlier this month for controlled substances, including Xanax and Percocet.
The former is used to treat anxiety and the latter is typically used to treat moderate to severe pain, but is considered very addictive.
U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick sentenced Sigel, 34, to three months in prison and one additional year of supervised release, which he is to continue in a drug-treatment program.
Surrick rejected a request by defense attorney Fortunato N. Perri Jr. to permit Sigel to "self-surrender," meaning that he would surrender to authorities after getting his affairs in order.
"I told you the last time if you didn't toe the line, jail was the only option," the judge said, adding that he wouldn't permit Sigel to self-surrender because he had "been given the benefit of doubt" many times before.
Sigel was taken into custody immediately.
He already was serving a six-month term in a halfway house for having previously violated supervised release last December. He took an unauthorized trip to an Atlantic City casino and consorted with a convicted felon.
At that time, Surrick sentenced Sigel to a day in jail and 18 months of supervised release, the first six months in a halfway house.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Curtis Douglas asked Surrick to put Sigel behind bars.
"Mr. Grant is a big boy and he knows what the rules are," the prosecutor said, adding, "at some point, he has to grow up."
Sigel told Surrick that he was an addict and "had a relapse" when he was sent to the halfway house in January.
As a condition of being placed in the halfway house, Sigel was not permitted to travel outside Philadelphia. He had just released a new CD called "The Solution."
As a result, he said, he had been "unable to earn the living" to which he was accustomed prior to that time.
Sigel said that his relapse had been triggered by financial pressure, that he was about to lose his house and that he couldn't travel to do big-venue concerts, the main source of his income.
He said he had performed twice at local clubs since being confined to the halfway house.
"I'm losing everything because of this situation," he said, though he admitted he had put himself in the bad situation.
Surrick said: "I've heard your explanation, but that does not excuse your conduct."
When Surrick asked about income from the sales of his CDs, Sigel explained that he only "gets 14 cents on the dollar for every CD that is sold, and that is only after the record companies get their money off the top."
It was Surrick who sentenced Sigel in 2004 to a year in prison and two years of supervised release, after Sigel pleaded guilty to weapons and drug charges.
He was acquitted in September 2005 of attempted-murder charges in connection with a 2003 shooting. *