‘God Bless America': Big Boi Avoids Jail With Deal on Miami Drug Charges

Rapper to take drug tests, perform community service in drug bust deal

After cheers greeted his appearance in the hallway of a Miami courthouse, Grammy-winning OutKast rapper Big Boi reached a deal on drug charges that allows him to avoid jail time.

"God bless America," he told the court.

Big Boi, whose real name is Andre Patton, appeared in court Thursday and stood quietly as prosecutors outlined the deal that includes three months of drug testing, community service and $2,000 in donations to charities.

"It's a pre-trial judicial monitoring program," explained Big Boi's attorney, Richard Hersch. "It's available throughout the courthouse. He's not being treated any differently."

The 36-year-old Georgia resident was arrested getting off a cruise ship in August when a K-9 dog alerted to drugs Big Boi was carrying. The substances included ecstasy, a cigarette roller with marijuana residue and the ecstasy ingredient MDMA.

Big Boi had faced two felony drug charges. Prosecutors say if he remains drug-free after three months of testing, those charges will be dismissed.

The Atlanta-based group OutKast has won six Grammys and made six platinum-plus albums, including "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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