[artist id="1225081"]T.I.'s[/artist] bodyguard, who served as the point man for the attempted illegal firearm purchase that will send the rapper to prison next month, has also been sentenced to a prison term of one year and one day, according to TheSmokingGun.com.
Corey Williams, 34, worked for Tip for five months in 2007 prior to becoming an informant and wearing a wiretap to assist federal authorities in their attempt to arrest the Atlanta rapper. Williams was arrested one month before T.I.'s November 2007 bust on the eve of the BET Hip-Hop Awards. The bodyguard had no previous record and agreed to cooperate with federal agents in a sting operation against T.I. to reduce his own sentence. But Williams and his former employee will now both spend the same amount of time in prison.
Last month, T.I. was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after working out a plea deal in March 2008. Under the terms of the rapper's plea, he was ordered to complete 1,000 hours of community service (none of his work on his MTV reality series "T.I.'s Road to Redemption" will be counted), pay a hefty fine and receive a lesser sentence than the 10 years he was originally facing. The rapper must also comply with a number of regulations post-jail-time as well, including additional community service and home confinement.
Williams, on the other hand, worked out a plea deal of his own with his lawyer, Mildred Dunn, before the same judge as T.I. But he was not able to receive a shorter sentence than his former boss, whom he turned state's evidence against.
When T.I.'s unique plea deal was first announced, many wondered how a previously convicted felon attempting to purchase heavy artillery could get away with what some amounted to a slap on the wrist. 50 Cent suggested in a mixtape track that perhaps T.I. "snitched" to get a more lenient sentence. Murmurs about the rapper's cooperating with authorities spread online and in the streets.
Just a few weeks ago, Tip addressed the "snitching" accusations in an interview with MTV News' Sway conducted one day after he was sentenced by Judge Charles Pannell Jr.
"If being a cooperating witness was part of my plea agreement, there's documents online, it's public record, just like any other inmate. You get his name, his number, there's a document online," Tip told MTV News in Atlanta during "T.I.'s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning." "Whatever his plea agreement, whatever the conditions of his plea agreement are, just like you know I'm gonna have to go for a year and a day, just like you know I'm gonna be on three years' supervised release, just like you know about how much home incarceration I got, if being a cooperating witness was a part of my plea agreement, it would be in there. They have nothing to gain by keeping me snitching a secret.
"As a matter of fact, it benefits them more, so they can say, 'Well, this is why we gave him this deal,' " T.I. continued. " 'Because he gave us this.' And not to mention, there's no such thing as a secret snitch. If you could snitch and then keep it a secret, there would be no use for the witness-protection program. You have to sign your name on paperwork, you have to sit on the stand, you have to point people out, you have to set people up. I got snitched on."
As for T.I.'s point, although Williams' identity had been cloaked, he did have to take the stand and testify against the rapper. In court proceedings, the bodyguard was referred to only as "Cooperating Witness" or "CW." But court records indicate Williams' legal team asserted their client provided "substantial" assistance during a federal probe.
Williams is currently serving his sentence in a South Carolina minimum-security federal lockup and is scheduled to be released in July of this year.