On Monday, the same day rapper T.I. (born Clifford Harris) re-entered an Arkansas federal prison to begin an 11-month sentence because of a probation violation, his wife, singer Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, entered a plea of not guilty to misdemeanor drug charges in Los Angeles.
According to the Beverly Hills Courier, the 35-year-old Cottle, who was charged on Friday with a single count of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (the drug Ecstasy), was not present in the Beverly Hills, California, courtroom when her lawyer entered the plea on her behalf.
T.I. and Tiny were arrested in September in Los Angeles after police stopped their Maybach for making an illegal U-turn on Sunset Boulevard and reported smelling marijuana as they approached the vehicle. A search of the car and its passengers turned up tablets of the drug Ecstasy on the rapper and his wife, leading to charges of drug possession for the couple.
Los Angeles authorities eventually dropped the charges against T.I., but documents filed by police suggested that the rapper tested positive for opiates in his system, was with a convicted felon at the time of his arrest and was in possession of Ecstasy. All three accusations were violations of Tip’s strict supervised-release probation. He’s now serving his second stint at the Forrest City federal facility in Arkansas in less than a year.
The low-security prison is the same complex where T.I. served nine months last year after he secured a plea deal with Georgia prosecutors stemming from a 2007 felony gun case. The experimental deal called for him to complete 1,500 hours of community service and endure home confinement in exchange for a lesser sentence; he also was required to complete a probation period afterward. The rapper was released in March after serving out the remainder of his time at a halfway house.
While T.I. avoided jail time in Los Angeles in connection with last month’s incident because officials dropped his charges in light of his return to federal prison over the probation violations, Cottle could face up to a year behind bars on her charges.
Cottle is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on January 6.