Local Rap Music Label Owner Found Guilty on Firearm, Drug Charges

Local Rap Music Label Owner Found Guilty on Firearm, Drug Charges

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The owner of a local rap music label has been found guilty on 16 counts of violating federal firearms, drug and money laundering laws and faces a minimum of 55 years in prison.

After seven hours of deliberation Tuesday, a jury found Weldon H. Angelos guilty on 16 of the 20 violations for which he was charged.

Those charges included five counts of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, three counts of money laundering, two counts of use of a controlled substance and six counts of firearm possession.

Angelos, 24, ran a rap music label based in Utah, Extravagant Records, which had recently released a CD featuring several big name hip-hop artists, including Snoop Dogg and Bad Azz.

The trial made news when the witness list included Snoop Dogg and other artists who had worked with Angelos. Bad Azz was the only big name artist who ended up testifying, said U.S. Attorney spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch.

His defense attorney had said he wanted to use the artists to show jurors that Angelos made money legally through his work. Prosecutors say Angelos used drug money to finance his music business.

For the money laundering, drug and three of the firearm charges, Angelos faces sentences of up to 20 years. The other three firearm charges -- possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking offense -- together carry mandatory minimum sentences that total 55 years, served consecutively. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 26.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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