Rapper Ja Rule Leaves NY Prison in Gun Case

By Michael Virtanen
|  Thursday, Feb 21, 2013  |  Updated 10:18 AM EDT
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Platinum-selling rapper Ja Rule was has leftlan upstate prison after serving most of his two-year sentence for illegal gun possession, but is heading straight into federal custody in a tax case.

U.S. Marshals escorted the 36-year-old out of Mid-State Correctional Facility at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear where he'll serve time in the tax case.

The rapper, who had been in protective custody because of his celebrity, has some time remaining on a 28-month sentence for tax evasion.

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His lawyer says Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, may have less than six months left and may be eligible for a halfway house. An order to pay $1.1 million in back taxes is one of the main reasons he wants to get back to work.

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