Identical twin rappers Kane & Abel were sentenced to three years in jail in a federal cocaine case on Wednesday.
A U.S. District Court judge in New Orleans accepted a plea agreement reached by the rappers' attorney and prosecutors last spring in which the brothers (born David and Daniel Garcia) admitted to lying to federal agents about the activities of jailed drug kingpin and convicted murderer Richard Pena (see "Kane & Abel Plead Guilty In Federal Cocaine Case").
Judge Sarah Vance gave the former No Limit MCs the maximum sentence for the charge, formerly termed "misprison of a felony."
"We feel that [the sentence] was unfair, and we plan to appeal," Abel said Thursday (September 13), adding that he and his brother had been hoping for the minimum sentence of 21 months.
"Our view is that the sentence was harsher than it needed to be under both the law and the facts of the case," Kane & Abel's attorney, Richard Westling said.
The rappers are scheduled to begin their sentences on October 10 at a facility to be determined by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Westling said.
Prosecutors claimed that the Garcias met Pena while they were studying at Xavier University, and that Pena subsequently financed the rappers' music career, but when the relationship deteriorated, he put them to work in his drug ring. Pena was arrested in 1997 and pleaded guilty to eight murders.
Vance rejected an earlier plea agreement that came with a predetermined sentence of two years in jail, saying it was too lenient. In that rejected deal, the rappers pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges by admitting to receiving 10 kilograms of cocaine from Pena in 1996 and 1997.
Abel said he and his brother will spend their last month of freedom doing business as usual. They'll promote their upcoming album, Most Wanted Boys (October 9), featuring collaborations with Juvenile ("Say That Then") and Snoop Dogg ("Down South"), and they'll finish recording an LP for early next year titled The Last Ones Left. Both albums will be released on their own label, Most Wanted Records.
Earlier this summer, the duo re-released their 2000 album, Most Wanted, with five new songs, including the single "Show Dat Work (Shake It Like a Dog Pt. 2)," which features guest vocals from Mystikal and 5th Ward Weebie.
Kane & Abel are also planning to put out their second novel, "The Speed of Darkness," late this year. The follow-up to 1999's "Eyes of a Killer/Behind Enemy Lines" traces the life of a Houston heroin dealer who becomes the first person publicly executed in modern times, with CNN broadcasting the event.
Abel said that he and Kane have worked hard to build a roster of underground acts on Most Wanted Records to ensure the label thrives during their incarceration.
"We're happy to get this thing behind us, and we know that our company won't miss a beat and we'll be back in no time," he said.