On June 2, Muhadith requested early release citing the threat of COVID-19 to his health, listing latent tuberculosis as a pre-existing ailment that could be complicated by the virus, and describing previous battles with acute bronchitis, acute laryngopharyngitis, and and bronchopneumonia.
In a July 26 ruling on Muhadith’s request, U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle ordered the former Bad Boy rapper’s release, writing COVID-19 was an “extraordinary and compelling reason”.
By July 30 Muhadith was a free man.
In his order Judge Boyle noted that Muhadith, who had been scheduled for conditional release in August 2021, will be required to report to a probation officer.In 2008 after his music career had fizzled, Muhadith converted to Islam, changing his given name from Chauncey Hawkins to Amir Junaid Muhadith. In 2011 he was arrested in Germany in connection with heroin trafficking 3 years earlier. He took a 14-year plea deal, with the possibility of release after serving 8 and a half years, to avoid a possible life sentence. In a 2013 interview with BET, he explained that because of previous convictions, he had little choice but to accept the plea, “I was convicted of a felony at the age of 18 in 1993 and I was also convicted of a felony in 2006, so with the two felonies, in trying to take this case to trial and fight against the United States government and a whole list of informants who tried to give me a leadership role in a conspiracy that had nothing to do with me… I would have been looking at mandatory life in prison… no hopes of parole or anything, so based on that, I was pressured into a situation where I had to accept responsibility for this minor role… it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in my life.”
In 2019, friends of Muhadith, including Faith Evans, Stevie J, Dame Dash, and Kevin Garnett signed on to a Change.org petition in hopes of getting President Trump‘s attention to grant him a pardon.
Upon his release, Muhadith, now 45, reunited with singer/rapper Akon. The two are seen in a picture posted on InstaGram captioned, “Yeah we are back like we never left. Still Brothers still solid. Met @__bu through @loon.tv and we have been together ever since . #Brothers Alhamdulillah.”