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Pooh Shiesty pleads guilty to federal conspiracy charge, avoids life sentence

Memphis rising star Pooh Shiesty had a tumultuous 2021 to say the least.

The “Back In Blood” rapper has achieved some of the highest highs an emerging superstar can reach. Being named a 2021 XXL Freshman, signing to Gucci Mane’s 1017 imprint, collaborating with Lil Durk, G Herbo, Jack Harlow and many others — all signs pointed to Shiesty becoming a cultural leader for many years to come.

However, that all changed when Shiesty was booked on multiple federal conspiracy charges this past summer, fighting a life sentence since his federal hearing in October 2020.

According to a new Rolling Stone report (Jan. 4), Shiesty has managed avoid a life sentence altogether — ultimately entering a plea deal that ascertains his guilt to one of four federal charges accounted: “conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of violent and drug-trafficking crimes.”

Shiesty (Lontrell Williams) initially pleaded not guilty to all four charges. Since his guilty plea, the U.S. prosecutors assigned to his case have dropped the other three charges against him — including one that detailed the 22-year-old rapper allegedly firing a gun during a fight in October 2020, shooting 28-year-old Brandon Cooper in the buttocks.

Having been incarcerated since June, Williams initially faced a maximum sentence of 20 years to life for conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of violent crimes and also a Hobbs Act Robbery conspiracy.

Per Rolling Stone’s report, the 2021 XXL Freshman now could face a sentence of 97 months (just over eight years) according to estimations made by federal prosecutors. The deal is non-binding, meaning Chief Judge K. Michael Moore could give Shiesty a harsher sentence upon further review.

While in prison, the rapper has still been able to release music in a limited capacity. Along with collaborating with Jack Harlow on “SUVs (Black on Black),” he shared an Instagram post on Dec. 17 with a spirited message for his fans as well as dropping a prison-phone freestyle in “Federal Contraband” on Dec. 27.

Amid Shiesty’s legal troubles, he’s managed to stay in good spirits, but it could be a while before fans get a look at Shiesty “Back in Blood” on the outside.

Photo via The Fader | Matt Marzhal