Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda has been officially sentenced to seven years in prison. The sentence came as part of a deal struck with prosecutors that saw the Brooklyn MC plead guilty to charges of 4th degree conspiracy to criminally possess a weapon and second-degree criminal weapons possession. Shmurda, whose legal name is Ackquille Pollard, is 22-years-old. Billboard reports he appeared alone in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday morning; his co-defendants Chad Marshall (aka “Rowdy Rebel") and Nicholas McCoy (aka “Flea Montana”) were also sentenced.
Shmurda will reportedly receive partial time served as part of his sentence, and could be released as early as 2021. Billboard notes that the plea deal, which reduced the maximum possible prison stint from 15 to seven years, required that Shmurda forfeit his right to appeal. After being released, all three men will also be required to submit to five years of supervision.
"I was forced to take this sentence, I did not want to take this sentence. I was forced by my attorney to take this plea," Shmurda told the court this morning.
Shmurda, Marshall, and McCoy were arrested in late 2014 at the Quad Recording Studios near Rockefeller Center. Police say they found 21 weapons on the young men, including two guns and a small amount of crack in Shmurda's car (in April, Shmurda sued the city for false arrest).
The young rapper was initially hit with numerous gun, drug, and conspiracy charges in what investigators alleged was a close connection to the GS9 Crips street gang. Shmurda entered his guilty plea in September after having been stuck in jail for 20 months on an uncommonly-high $2 million bond that made it impossible for his record label to bail him out.
"If we made bail I would've beat the case," Shmurda told Complex a week after pleading guilty. "They just look at our skin color, and look at where we're from. I didn't get caught with anything on me and the cops lied, saying they seen me with a gun in my hand. I explained the whole situation to Epic and they were behind me all the way. We had big-money lawyers and they still couldn't do nothing because of the judge, who looked at us like black thugs." Shmurda told the music site he took the seven-year plea deal over a five-year offer as means of lowering Marshall's overall sentence.
Following the hearing Wednesday, Shmurda's mother, Leslie Pollard, expressed her disappointment in the process to Billboard. "You don't have any rights in that courtroom," Pollard said. "It's heartbreaking. It's disappointing."
"It was a whole setup," she said. "The judge doesn't know my son. He doesn't care."
For more, this 2015 New York Magazine article looks at how the NYPD aggressively pursued Shmurda in part because of his rising hip-hop celebrity.