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Lupe Fiasco to Testify at Business Partner’s Drug Conspiracy Trial

Chicago rapper and recent Grammy nominee Lupe Fiasco is expected to testify in the drug conspiracy trial of Charles Patton, his friend and partner in the 1st and 15th record label. According to the Chicago Tribune Patton and his wife Inita were charged in 2003 with running a drug enterprise that prosecutors claim is responsible for the distribution of over 900 grams of heroin in the Chicago area. Former Chicago Police Lt. Robert Grapenthien recently testified that a wiretap on Patton’s recorded him setting up a drug sale for March 25, 2003. The same wiretap had previously recorded the defendant making Amtrak reservations for himself and Lupe for March 25. Police setup surveillance of the agreed meeting spot, and apprehended Jerry Warren, the man who Patton was recorded arranging the deal with. Warren was not arrested at the time, but was convicted in October 2006.

Nine other people have been charged in the case, all of whom have either plead guilty or been convicted, with the exception of one individual who was acquitted. According to his attorney, Todd Pugh, Patton is being targeted because he is a young, well-off African-American. Pugh attacked the prosecution’s main witness, Torrick Hall, labeling him a drug dealer who hung around Patton because of his proximity to celebrities. Using a key found during a 2003 raid on the Patton’s home, police searched a storage unit and turned up six kilograms of heroin. Inita Patton’s lawyer, Glenn Seiden, countered that the woman allowed a friend to store furniture in the unit, and was unaware of the presence of the illegal narcotics. If convicted, the Patton’s face 15-60 years in prison.

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