By Andre Jones
Legendary rapper Earl Simmons – known to most of us as simply “DMX” has asked a judge to release him from a recently imposed house arrest in order to fly to Atlanta for work, but the judge was having none of it.
DMX was arrested last month on charges of tax fraud, with federal prosecutors accusing him of fourteen counts of tax evasion. After posting a $500,000 bond and reappearing in court earlier this month, Senior U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ordered DMX confined to his New York City home, citing repeated violations of bail conditions. Narrowly avoiding throwing DMX in jail, Rakoff also ordered that the rapper wear an electronic bracelet and request permission at least seven days in advance if he needs to travel.
Rakoff expressed concern that DMX may believe that “he’s free to thumb his nose at the court”, describing DMX’s drug and gun possession arrests since 2002 that have largely earned him no jail time as a result of Richman’s interventions. "A very strong argument could be made for keeping him in jail," the judge said.
Rakoff was informed that DMX traveled out of state twice without permission and also tested positive for cocaine four times within the month. The judge also noted that DMX rejected a Pretrial Services offer of rehabilitation – then tested positive for marijuana and opiates.
"The violations are very troubling," Rakoff said. "In addition, it sounds like he's a liar."
"At the hearing on August 11, neither defendant nor his counsel made any application to travel to Atlanta on August 17, nor was any further mention of it made to the Court until the letter filed late yesterday afternoon," Rakoff said in a statement Tuesday. “Surely the defendant knows by now that the Court will strictly enforce the terms of his pre-trial release. Accordingly, the Court hereby denies leave for defendant to travel to Atlanta on August 17."
Clearly learning from this mistake, Richman took the opportunity to make several travel requests on behalf of DMX, including another trip to Atlanta later in the month, a trip to perform in Las Vegas immediately after, a guest spot at the Jay-Z curated Made in America Festival, and finally a trip to L.A. to film Hip Hop Squares.
Though his probation officers want Rakoff to deny the trip requests, DMX’s legal team hopes that Rakoff will allow him to fulfill the rest of his work itinerary. “We will see how it works out — he didn’t deny us entirely,” Richman said. “He wants Mr. Simmons to have some kind of outpatient program, and he’s trying to find the proper program.”