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Brooklyn Rapper Bobby Shmurda to be Eligible for Release from Prison in February

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Taylor Hill/Getty Images Bobby Shmurda performs during Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2014 at Barclays Center on Oct. 30, 2014 in New York City.

Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda will be eligible for release from prison next month, the New York State Department of Corrections said on Monday.

What We Know:

  • Shmurda, whose government name is Ackquille Pollard, was convicted to seven years after declaring guilty to conspiracy and weapons possession charges related to what prosecutors state was a principal role in the GS9 gang, The New York Times reported. GS9 is a branch of the Crips in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
  • Authorities detained Shmurda in late 2014 after leaving a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall, only days after he played Hot Boy for a national television audience on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Investigators recovered two handguns and a small amount of crack cocaine in a car he was riding in, authorities state.
  • Shmurda was refused parole in September, in part for disciplinary actions taken against him while incarcerated, and finally ordered to his maximum sentence until December 21, 2021. According to the Department of Corrections prisoner database, he is currently detained at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.
  • The Department of Corrections review recently reestablished Shmurda’s “good time,” making him newly qualified for conditional release. If Pollard does end up leaving lockup next month, he will serve the rest of his term under community supervision or parole until December 11, 2021.

  • News of Shmurda’s possible early release comes less than a month after his partner Rowdy Rebel was freed from state prison. The fellow Brooklyn rapper, whose legal name is Chad Marshall, declared guilty, together with Pollard and Nicholas “Flea Montana” McCoy, in September 2016 to fourth-degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
  • “I’m glad he’s coming home,” stated Alex Spiro, a lawyer who represented Shmurda in the criminal trial. In the years after his arrest, Shmurda has become something similar to a folk hero in hip-hop; fans and other artists have highly awaited his release.

Shmurda is qualified for conditional release as of February 23, with the remainder of his sentence to be served on parole.

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Crime

Trey Songz Arrested After Altercation with Police

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During Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, rapper Trey Songz was arrested by Kansas City Police at Arrowhead Stadium.

What We Know:

  • According to TMZ, Kansas City Police claimed that Tremaine Aldon Neverson, better known as Trey Songz, was not following Arrowhead Stadium protocol. After staff and fans around him could not get him to wear a mask, police were called in to kick him out of the stadium.
  • Witnesses claim Songz was not breaking the rules but being heckled by others in the stands. He had asked them to be quiet. When police arrived, things got abruptly physical, and he acted in self-defense.  The 36-year-old singer’s altercation was caught on camera.

  • The video shows Songz caught off guard when the officer gets physical. He connects a punch with the officer’s head and gets him in a headlock, but then the officer pinned Trey to a seat. As more officers arrive at the scene, you can hear fans in the background of the video shouting for the officer to be arrested.
  • Trey Songz was arrested for trespassing, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer. He is being placed on a 24-hr hold and likely to be released on Monday night.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office nor Trey Songz’s attorney could be reached for comment.

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Crime

A Radio Host Was Shocked to Get a Pardon He Never Asked Trump For

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Like most of us, Gary Hendler was closely watching for updates from the White House when he saw his name in the paper.

What We Know:

  • In the final hours of his time in office, former President Donald Trump issued a number of pardons. Among those pardoned was Gary Hendler, a 67-year-old radio host from Ardmore, Pennsylvania who had no prior connection to the Trump administration.
  • Hendler struggled with addiction starting in 1973. He was attending Temple University in Philadelphia when he got addicted to quaaludes, a popular recreational drug in the ’70s. In order to get his fix, Hendler and three fellow addicts opened a “stress clinic” in January of 1981. They hired a psychiatrist to prescribe quaaludes to anybody who asked.
  • Shortly after opening the clinic, Hendler left the business and checked himself into rehab. But when federal agents raided the clinic in 1984, his name was still on all the corporate papers and he was arrested and charged for drug conspiracy. He was sentenced to three years supervised probation and fined $300.
  • According to NBC News, Hendler had previously written a nearly 90-page pardon application to the Obama administration back in 2016 but to no avail. Now, he states that he was never contacted or notified by the Trump administration that he would be receiving a pardon.
  • Hendler broke down in tears after seeing his name in the paper on Wednesday morning. The “Clean and Sober Radio” host was described by the administration as an “integral [person] in the lives of many members of the community who were dealing with substance abuse issues.”

Gary Hendler has achieved a lot since regaining his sobriety. He is now married with kids, owns a successful real estate business, and most importantly, pardoned!

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U.S. Soldier Arrested in Plot to Blow Up 9/11 NYC Memorial

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A U.S. Army soldier was arrested in Georgia on charges that he plotted to blow up the 9/11 Memorial in New York City and attack U.S. soldiers in the Middle East. (Inset: FB via United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Alejandra Villa-Pool/Getty Image)

A U.S. Army soldier was detained Tuesday in Georgia on terrorism charges after he talked online about plans to blow up New York City’s 9/11 Memorial and other monuments and assault U.S. soldiers in the Middle East, officials said.

What We Know:

  • Cole James Bridges from Stow, Ohio, was in custody on charges of attempted material support of a terrorist organization, the Islamic State group, and attempted murder of a military member, stated Nicholas Biase, a spokesperson for Manhattan federal prosecutors.
  • The 20-year-old soldier, also identified as Cole Gonzales, was with the Third Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, when he believed he was chatting with the Islamic State online about the terrorism plots, Biase mentioned.
  • According to a criminal objection in Manhattan federal court, Bridges entered the U.S. Army in September 2019 and was appointed a cavalry scout in Fort Stewart. Unknown to Bridges, an FBI employee was in on the chat. Biase said Bridges gave detailed instructions on tactics and manuals and information about attacking the memorial and other New York City targets.
  • “As we allege today, Bridges, a private in the U.S. Army, betrayed our country and his unit when he plotted with someone he believed was an ISIS sympathizer to help ISIS attack and kill U.S. soldiers in the Middle East,” William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York City’s FBI office stated in a press release.

“Fortunately, the person with whom he communicated was an FBI employee, and we were able to prevent his evil desires from coming to fruition,” he continued.

  • According to court papers, he communicated his frustration with the U.S. military and his desire to help the Islamic State group. The criminal complaint stated he then gave training and guidance to professed Islamic State fighters who were plotting attacks, including advice about potential targets in New York City, including the 9/11 Memorial.
  • Bridges also outlined specific military tactics to help the terrorist group’s fighters kill U.S. troops, including the best way to strengthen an encampment to resist an attack by U.S. Special Forces and how to wire specific buildings with explosives to kill the U.S. troops, the complaint said.

He was programmed to make a first appearance in federal court in Georgia on Thursday. It was not instantly clear who would represent him.

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