Tommy Lee Sparta

The Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its look at the major stories which helped to shape 2021.

TOMMY Lee Sparta's run-ins with the law came to a head on March 24 when he was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of firearm and two years for illegal possession of ammunition in the Gun Court division of the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

The controversial dancehall deejay will, however, serve three years as the sentences run concurrently. He was represented by Tom Tavares-Finson, QC, and Donahue Martin.

According to Martin, firearm sentences can range from 10 to 15 years. However, when a person pleads guilty on the first relevant date the Criminal Justice Administration Amendment Act entitles the person up to “50 per cent off” on the range of the sentence.

Tommy Lee Sparta — whose given name is Leroy Russell — was arrested on December 14, 2020 after a vehicle in which he was travelling was intercepted by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The men in the vehicle were searched and a 9mm Glock pistol with an extended magazine containing 18 rounds of ammunition were found in the dancehall artiste's waistband.

Tommy Lee is no stranger to brushes with the law. In 2014 he was arrested and charged for lottery scamming-related offences after police raided a house in the Kingston 5 area believed to be occupied by the entertainer.

A laptop belonging to the deejay was also seized after it was reportedly found with personal information of several United States residents.

He was freed four years later. Also, in 2014 he was denied entry into Dominica after arriving in that Caribbean island to perform at a concert.

The Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches protested regarding his appearance. They said the artiste's appearance and music glorify Satan and promote lawlessness and violence. He was deported the following day.

In 2015 the Montego Bay police prevented him from performing on Reggae Sumfest for “fear of patrons' safety”.

The following year, he was listed as a person of interest by detectives in the Kingston Eastern Division.

At that time, it was in relation to a shooting incident on Saunders Avenue in the Kingston 2 section of the Corporate Area.

In 2017 the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay requested Tommy Lee Sparta turn himself in for questioning in relation to a shooting in the Flanker community during the Christmas season.

He was cleared in both instances.

In March 2020 Tommy Lee Sparta's six-year-old daughter was shot during an altercation involving three men in Flanker. A nine-year-old boy was fatally shot in that incident.

A former member of Vybz Kartel's Portmore “Gaza Empire”, Tommy Lee Sparta got his break in 2012. He is known for songs including Spartan Soldier, Spartan Angel, Psycho, and Rich Badness.

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