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T.I. could face prison time for violating his federal probation

T.I. was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday night on a new drug charge. He will now be forced to head back to Atlanta, Georgia to face a federal judge for violating his probation.

Page Pate was interviewed on Atlanta public radio WABE FM 90.1 today about the arrest, and the possible effect on his probation.

T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., was originally arrested in October of 2007 for attempting to purchase machine guns and silencers from undercover agents in Midtown Atlanta.

T.I. was able to negotiate a unique and controversial plea deal with prosecutors which allowed T.I. to perform community service before being sent to prison. Many people referred to the deal as an example of “celebrity justice”. As part of the deal, T.I. was required to speak to children around the nation about the dangers of drugs and gangs. He then served seven months in an Arkansas prison and three months in a halfway house.

While on probation, T.I. is forbidden from possessing any illegal drugs or visiting places where illegal drugs are sold. Furthermore, T.I. cannot associate with persons engaged in unlawful activities. The probationary period does not expire until 2013.

The consequences of T.I.’s latest arrest are not yet known. In many cases in which a probationer tests positive for marijuana, the probation officer may modify the terms of probation by requiring drug counseling or demanding more drug testing. T.I.’s case, however, is not the typical marijuana case.

The federal judge who sentenced T.I. (Judge Charles Pannell) may revoke all or some of T.I.’s remaining probation. Additional conditions of probation could also be attached. Judge Pannell will likely request a recommendation from the U.S. Probation Office before making a determination about this alleged violation. He will also likely consider the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable advisory sentencing range.

A hearing could follow if the parties are not in agreement on the outcome.