is a free man. The former Bad Boy rapper has been released from prison after 9-years served on a drug trafficking conviction.
The New York Post reports that Loon, born Chauncey Hawkins (and now Amir Junaid Muhadith after converting to Islam), was released from federal lock up on Wednesday (July 30), and while celebs had lobbied on his behalf, it was mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
US District Judge Terrence Boyle changed Loon’s sentence to time served, citing that he was not a danger to society and that COVID-19 was an “extraordinary and compelling” reason that he be released. Loon was scheduled to be released next year in August 2021.
While a number of celebs petitioned for Loon’s release, one homie was particularly helpful. Reports the NY Post:
Friend Weldon Angelos, a music producer and former associate of Snoop Dogg, personally wrote Hawkins’ 34-page request for freedom.
“He’s just another young black male who got a long time because of the war on drugs,” Angelos said.
The successful request invoked health issues and the Trump-signed First Step Act’s expansion of compassionate release.
Weldon also led the efforts to persuade Trump to grant clemency, which at one point included plans to bring a delegation of rap stars to the White House. Those plans were scuttled first by Trump’s impeachment and then by the pandemic.
But Weldon believes the presidential lobbying drive may have impressed the judge.
“We showed that this man had a ton of support and is going to do a lot of positive things,” he said.
After he’s released, the former rapper plans to work on prisoner rehabilitation programming, Angelos said. The men also have plans to form a production company, which may release a movie or TV series on Loon’s life.
Back in 2011, on conspiracy to sell one kilogram of heroin in Belgium, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Nevertheless, he has always maintained that he was a victim of circumstance.