Rapper Lupe Fiasco
's mentor and business partner has been sentenced to 44 years behind bars, after he was convicted of several drugs charges dating back to 2003. Charles Patton, who owns the record label 1st & 15th with the Kick, Push star, was convicted after police in Illinois found 13.2 pounds of heroin - with a street value of $1 million - in his possession in 2003.
Prosecutors claimed Patton had become one of the biggest drug lords in the Chicago, Illinois, underworld, and used the money he earned from record deals to buy and sell heroin.
Fiasco - real name Wasalu Jaco - was called on by the defense to testify at the city's Cook County Court last week, after investigators obtained telephone recordings of Patton talking to the hip-hop star about what they believed to be the preparation of heroin.
Fiasco denied the discussion had anything to do with drugs and was actually in reference to the mixing of music tracks. He has never been charged and has continually denied any involvement in the drug trade.
In a letter to the court to defend Patton, Fiasco said: "I love Charles... I am deeply saddened by his circumstances and will stand by him and his family no matter what occurs."
Atlantic Records chairman and CEO, Craig Kallman, added: "Mr. Patton has played a crucial role in the development of Lupe's career. Through his invaluable knowledge, advice, and guidance, Lupe has developed into one of the most refreshing artists in hip-hop music."
While Patton was found guilty of the heroin possession, prosecutors failed to establish a direct link between the drug trade and his involvement with his record label.
Assistant Attorney Patrick Coughlin says, "There is a large amount of money that he received from the sales of heroin. And he was able to start up a record company."
(This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network)