Charles Patton, mentor and business partner of Chi-town rapper Lupe Fiasco, will have to put a halt to his career in the music biz after being sentenced to 44 years on several drug charges.
In a Cook County courtroom last month, Judge Dennis Porter sentenced Patton to 44 years on drug charges, after he was caught with 6 kilos of heroin — worth about $1 million on the street — back in 2003, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The papers reports that investigators said that he had become one of the top shot callers in the Chicago drug-dealing world, using money he earned from record deals to buy heroin and flooding the city’s streets with his product.
Fiasco, who owns the record label 1st & 15th alongside Patton, was never charged, but was present at the his home when he was arrested and was also forced to testify during his trial about phone conversations he had with Patton, which investigators believe were about heroin.
In recorded conversations, both Patton and Fiasco were quoted as talking about splitting up “whole yellow” and “whole red” ones,” which a prosecution witness said represented the mixing and prepping of $10 heroin packets.
While testifying for the defense, Fiasco (real name: Wasalu Jaco) said that during the conversations they were referring to the mixing and prepping of music tracks, and denied any involvement in drugs.
Although Fiasco did not comment directly regarding the case, he did write a letter to the court to vouch for his business partner and longtime friend.
“I love Charles… I am deeply saddened by his circumstances and will stand by him and his family no matter what occurs,” Fiasco wrote.
“Mr. Patton has played a crucial role in the development of Lupe’s career,” Craig Kallman, the chairman/CEO of Atlantic Records, also wrote to the court. “Through his invaluable knowledge, advice, and guidance, Lupe has developed into one of the most refreshing artists in hip-hop music.”
While Patton was convicted, prosecutors could not present evidence to link the drug charges to their record label, 1st & 15th, even though they believed that he had been dealing since the 80s, years before he linked up with Fiasco to launch the label.
“There is a large amount of money that he received from the sales of heroin,” Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Coughlin told the paper. “And he was able to start up a record company.”