Controversial deejay Tommy Lee Sparta was sentenced here March 24 to three years in prison for illegal possession of firearm and two years for illegal possession of ammunition, in the Home Circuit Court’s Gun Court.
Sentence was handed down three months after the 33 year-old dancehall artist was arrested and charged by police for having a 9 millimeter Glock pistol with an extended magazine containing 18 rounds of ammunition.
The court ruled that he will serve three years in prison, as the sentences run concurrently. Tommy Lee Sparta was represented by Donahue Martin and Queen’s Counsel, Tom Tavares-Finson.
Martin said Tommy Lee Sparta, whose real name is Leroy Russell, pleaded guilty to the charges.
“The judge had regards for the sentencing guidelines. Additionally, he had regards for the time he served in custody, and the fact that he had no previous conviction until now. The judge had regards that he pleaded guilty on the first relevant date, and is entitled to up to 50 per cent discount on the usual starting point,” Martin told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
Tommy Lee Sparta is the latest dancehall entertainer to be sent to prison. His mentor, Vybz Kartel, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for murder; in December, deejay Laden was sentenced to four years in prison for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
Rytical, another deejay, was arrested and charged for a similar offence in January. His case is before the courts.
Known for songs such as Psycho, Spartan Angel and Rich Badness. Tommy Lee Sparta has made more headlines for delinquency and alleged criminal activity than his music.
Violence in his Music
In 2014, he was barred from performing in Dominica because the church in that country said his music promoted violence and Satanic behavior. That year, he was arrested and charged for lottery scamming in Jamaica; he was freed of those charges in 2018.
Last August, Tommy Lee Sparta was arrested for being part of criminal activity in rural St. James parish where he is from. He was released without being charged after five weeks in custody.