Rapper Beanie Sigel faces weapon charges

Rapper Beanie Sigel has been arrested on weapon and drug charges near Philadelphia. (AP File Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek

ESSINGTON, Pa. — Rapper Beanie Sigel was arrested Wednesday on weapon and drug violations during a traffic stop, just two weeks before he is scheduled to report to prison for failing to file taxes, state police said.

The 38-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dwight Grant, was a passenger in a car pulled over on Interstate 95 in Tinicum Township, just south of his hometown of Philadelphia.

Police said they found a gun in the car’s console. Both Sigel and driver Gerald Andrews are felons banned from having such weapons, according to troopers.

Andrews was also carrying several prescription bottles and a small amount of marijuana, police said. Sigel had more than $4,600 in cash, plus prescription pills and a bottle of codeine syrup, according to troopers.

Court records indicate Sigel and Andrews both face drug and gun charges and were unable to post bail. Sigel’s lawyer declined to comment immediately, saying he had not yet reviewed the case. It was not clear if Andrews had an attorney.

Sigel’s latest album, called This Time, was released on Tuesday by Ruffhouse Records.

Chris Schwartz, the label’s chief executive, said in a statement that the company is disappointed in Sigel’s arrest. But he added that the rapper has displayed “the utmost professionalism in all of the initiatives related to the promotion of his new release.”

“Beanie has obviously been struggling with some personal issues, and we continue to support him now and throughout his impending incarceration,” Schwartz said.

Sigel is scheduled to begin a two-year prison sentence on Sept. 12 for failing to pay federal taxes. Prosecutors said he owes more than $700,000 for the tax years 1999 through 2005.

— Associated Press