Rapper Serving Time For Illegal Gun Possession, Tax Evasion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Federal authorities say platinum-selling rapper Ja Rule has left federal prison.

The 37-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, left a state prison in central New York in February after serving most of his two-year sentence for illegal gun possession, going straight into federal custody in a tax evasion case.

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The Federal Bureau of Prisons says he left a correctional facility in the central Adirondacks on Tuesday, though time remains on his sentence.

In February, it was reported that Ja Rule was moved to a Brooklyn jail to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

The bureau says his release date technically remains July 28, with possible community-based supervision for the balance.

TMZ reported that his wife picked him up and he’ll remain in home confinement until then.

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He admitted failing to pay taxes on more than $3 million earned between 2004 and 2006.

Ja Rule pleaded guilty in June of 2011 after police said they found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun in a rear door of his $250,000-plus Maybach sports car, which they’d said they’d stopped for speeding as he left a star-studded concert at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre on July 22, 2007.

Ja Rule emerged as a hardcore rapper in the late 1990s but then became known for his collaborations with female pop singers, including Jennifer Lopez and Ashanti. He scored a best rap album Grammy Award nomination in 2002 with “Pain Is Love.” He also has appeared in movies, including the 2001 film “The Fast and the Furious” and 2003’s “Scary Movie 3.”

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