Rapper Pooh Shiesty was sentenced to five years and three months in prison Wednesday for his gun conspiracy conviction linked to a confrontation outside a Florida hotel in October 2020 that ended with a man shot in the buttocks.
The 22-year-old Memphis native, born Lontrell Williams, was “happy” with the decision from US District Judge Kevin Michael Moore in Miami Federal Court considering he had reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors that allowed for a sentence of up to eight years and one month in prison, his lawyer said.
“Listen, nobody’s happy to go to prison, but he was happy the judge listened to our argument, and the judge received the argument well. He was satisfied with the outcome, ”defense lawyer Bradford Cohen tells Rolling Stone, referring to the rapper. “We’re happy with the decision of the court.”
The judge gave Williams credit for the year he’s already spent in custody. With credit for good behavior, Williams could be out in about three and a half more years.
Williams pleaded guilty to only a single count of firearms conspiracy in January. At the sentencing hearing that lasted about two hours Wednesday, Cohen argued his client was not the one who fired the weapon in the botched Florida drug deal outside the Landon Hotel in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, on Oct. 9, 2020. He also disputed the prosecution theory that Williams was involved in a robbery. In court filings, he said his client was trying to purchase a minor amount of liquid codeine for personal use from someone he knew.
“The government wants this court to believe Mr. Williams, with a net worth of $ 3,449,446, planned a robbery, then committed a robbery, and then shot a known drug dealer who knew him well and could easily identify him. All over a few hundred-dollar drug deal for personal use, while he was driving a lime green McLaren that he rented from the alleged victim, ”he argued in his paperwork.
“Mr. Williams possessed over $ 40,000 in cash and was driving a vehicle valued at over $ 200,000. It would be illogical for Mr. Williams to stage a robbery by two other individuals over something so minuscule as a bottle of liquid codeine with a retail value of a few hundred dollars, at most, when any damage done to the McLaren in the process would have cost thousands of dollars to repair , ”The paperwork argued.
In a sentencing memo filed Tuesday, Cohen argued for a lower sentence mentioning his client’s young age and “rough” childhood.
“Mr. Williams has accepted responsibility for his involvement in this offense. He accepts responsibility for where he is at this time in his life and he is ready to change, ”Cohen wrote. “He hopes to return to his music, stay away from drugs, continue to provide financial assistance to his family, and help the youth in his community. … This court is asked to consider that Mr. Williams’ life is a life worth saving. “
In the memo, Cohen said Williams’ father was incarcerated for much of his client’s formative years. “Mr. Williams remembered visiting his father in prison when he was about ten years old and described the experience as ‘scary,’ ”he said.
Williams also witnessed his mother being physically abused by her long-term boyfriend, lost multiple friends to gun violence and was shot twice himself as a teenager: once in a drive-by shooting when he was 14, and again when he was shot in the arm while attending a local police and community basketball game at the age of 17.
“There were few, if any, positive influences during Mr. Williams’ formative years. He began abusing marijuana at 12 and quickly became a daily user, ”Cohen wrote. “Mr. Williams’ transition from extreme poverty to successful and wealthy musician was almost immediate and certainly life-changing. ”
Soon after he earned his high school diploma, Williams started making a name for himself with YouTube and Facebook videos of his rapping. By the age of 20, he signed his first deal with Gucci Mane. A few months later, he signed another deal with Atlantic Records.
“Almost overnight, Mr. Williams became a millionaire. At the time, he still was not old enough to be served alcohol, ”Cohen wrote.
Williams has been behind bars since his June 9 arrest involving charges over a shooting at a Miami strip club that have since been dropped. He was indicted in the Landon Hotel case weeks later and ordered held without bail.
According to prosecutors, the Memphis rapper, whose Back in Blood collaboration with Lil Durk went platinum, allegedly drove the rented McLaren to the hotel the day of the alleged shooting to purchase marijuana, codeine and a pair of high-end athletic sneakers. They alleged Williams accepted a bag of marijuana and examined a pair of sneakers before he pulled out a Draco subcompact weapon and fired, hitting the alleged victim in the buttocks.
As Williams drove off, a Louis Vuitton bag stuffed with $ 40,912 in cash fell out of the driver’s seat of the McLaren. Investigators said they linked the cash to Williams by matching the full serial number on one of the recovered bills to a $ 100 bill flashed on Williams’ Instagram account days before the alleged robbery.