Convicted drug dealer asks for presidential clemency

Published January 15, 2009 5:55 pm
Weldon Angelos » Utah record producer says his 55-year mandatory prison term is unjust
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Lawyers for a Utah record producer serving a mandatory 55-year prison term for carrying a gun while dealing marijuana asked President George W. Bush on Thursday for clemency.

In a petition requesting a sentence reduction, the attorneys acknowledge Weldon Angelos is not "completely innocent" -- the 29-year-old admits selling small amounts of pot to a police informant but adamantly denies having a weapon during those transactions -- but say his punishment is unjust.

There is no parole in the federal justice system, only time off for good behavior. Angelos' projected release date is Nov. 18, 2051, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Angelos was convicted in December 2003 by a federal jury in Salt Lake City of 16 counts of drug trafficking, weapons possession and money laundering. By law, he was required to spend at least 55 years behind bars for three convictions of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Angelos founded Extravagant Records, which produces rap and hip-hop.

-- Pamela Manson

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