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Ja Rule Leaves State Prison, Taken Into Federal Custody

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Ja Rule has been released from an upstate New York prison. However, the rapper may not be celebrating his release just yet, as he is heading straight into federal custody.

The platinum-selling rapper had served most of his two-year sentence at the Mid-State Correctional Facility for an illegal gun possession charge. However, he still has some time remaining on a 28-month prison sentence stemming from a federal tax evasion charge, reports CBS News.

His sentences reportedly ran concurrently, so Ja Rule will have to serve about another six months in federal lockup.

Ja Rule was sentenced to two years in a New York state prison in June 2011. The rapper pleaded guilty to a weapons charge after New York City police said they found a loaded 0.40-caliber semiautomatic gun in a rear door of Ja Rule's car after he was stopped for speeding, according to CBS News.

Prior to going to prison on that gun charge, Ja Rule had to deal with a federal criminal charge, that he failed to pay more than $3 million in back taxes between 2004 and 2006.

The rapper admitted to not paying his taxes, but claimed that he had no intent to deceive the government. Instead, he said that he was just a young guy with a lot of money and did not know how to handle his finances. (Of course, he's not the only rapper with that problem.)

The federal judge sentenced Ja Rule to 28 months behind bars, with about two years coinciding with his state sentence. He was also ordered to pay $1.1 million in back taxes.

Due to his celebrity status, Ja Rule was held in protective custody at the state prison. While the rapper misbehaved a few times (by making unauthorized phone calls), Ja Rule was also productive behind bars writing songs, working on the lawn and grounds crew, and participating in education programs, reports CBS News.

It's not clear where the rapper will serve time in the tax case, The Associated Press reports.

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