Dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to three years in prison.

The ‘Blessings’ artiste appeared before the High Court Division of the Gun Court and was represented by Queens Counsel Tom Tavares Finson and Donahue Martin in Jamaica.

He received a three-year sentence for the illegal possession of a firearm charge, and a two-year sentence on the ammunition charge.  The sentences will run concurrently.

The sentencing guidelines for illegal possession of firearm charges typically run between 10 to 15 years.  However, a number of mitigating factors worked in Tommy Lee Sparta’s favour.

“The mitigating factors were that he pleaded guilty on the first relevant court date, he had already served three months for the offence and he has no previous convictions,” attorney-at-law Donahue Martin told Loop News.

The plea bargaining which has led to a number of reduced sentences for non-capital offences is facilitated under the Criminal Justice (Administration) (Amendment) Act and the Indictments (Amendment) Act which sought to reduce the backlog of cases in the courts.

The artiste, whose real name is Leroy Russell, has been in custody since he was arrested on December 14, 2020, by members of the JCF’s Specialized Operations Unit, after a Toyota Mark X motorcar in which he was traveling was intercepted on Holborn Road, in St Andrew.

Russell was searched, and a 9mm pistol containing 18 rounds of ammunition was found in his waistband.

Tommy Lee Sparta‘s conviction follows several run-ins with the law over the last six years.

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