By Jon Wiederhorn
Rapper Ja Rule (a.k.a. Jeffrey Atkins) is a free man--mostly.
After serving most of a two-year sentence for illegal gun possession and tax evasion, the 36-year-old rapper has received his get-out-of-jail card, but will remain in home confinement until his official July 28 release date, TMZ reported.
Ja Rule's wife picked him up from the correctional facility in New York’s Adirondacks, where he had served since February. The rapper did double-time of sorts. He plead guilty to unlawful gun possession charges on December 13, 2010, and remained in a New York State prison until he was transferred to serve the rest of his time in federal custody for tax evasion.
In March 2011, Ja Rule admitted he had not payed taxes on more than $3 million he earned between 2004 and 2006.
Regarding the gun charges, in 2007 police searched his Maybach luxury vehicle after he left a concert in New York’s Beacon Theatre and found a .40-cal unlicensed handgun.
In a separate incident, Lil Wayne was also arrested in 2007 on gun-related charges, but Lil Wayne received a shorter sentence due to the circumstances of the bust.
"Each case was a little different," Ja Rule told Hiphopdx.com in 2012. "I think they got him with the same charge, attempt of possession. But the difference between me and Weezy’s case is his was actually registered. His case was crazy too, because it wasn’t registered to him but it wasn’t on his person but it was a registered gun and he was on a bus with 30 other people. And it wasn’t found in his possession. It was found in a bag.
"My gun was with a serial number scratched off, which gave me a little more time," he said.