Dem Franchize Boyz rapper Parlae appeared in a FultonCounty court yesterday (7/24) for a plea hearing, only to have the appearance rescheduled for next month. Parlae’s lawyer believes the rapper’s charges may be reduced from drug trafficking to possession.
Parlae, whose real name is Maurice Gleaton, appeared before the Honorable Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore on marijuana trafficking charges stemming from a raid at an Atlanta recording studio on June 13th.
Gleaton’s attorney Ash Joshi was present to represent him, however six of his co-defendants were without legal representation. Judge Moore recessed the hearing until August 28th to allow the defendants an opportunity to secure counsel.
Last month Gleaton was one of eight individuals arrested and charged with drug trafficking after a raid at Making Big Moves Entertainment resulted in the police seizure of several pounds of marijuana, two handguns and over $100,000 dollars in cash.
The latest development in the case is that charges in the case may soon be reduced to possession with the intent to distribute rather than trafficking.
“The first thing is the marijuana has to be weighed to see if it’s more than ten pounds. In the state of Georgia if it’s less than ten pounds it’s not trafficking it’s possession with the intent to distribute. It’s still a felony but it’s far less serious,” Ash Joshi told SOHH.
Yesterday’s plea hearing would have provided the defendants an opportunity to have their charges read aloud, receive copies of their indictment and enter their pleas to the charges.
Prior to this arrest, Parlae was already on probation for a marijuana case from two years ago. While prosecutors previously attempted to revoke his probation, Parlae’s attorney successfully argued to kept it in place. Parlae is currently out of jail on bond. Joshi said regardless of whether the charges are reduced Parlae plans to plead not guilty.
“He’s not pleading guilty to any charge, any guilty plea would be a violation of his probation,” Joshi explained.
Even though Making Big Moves Entertainment CEO Anthony Blalock (who was named in the search warrant) was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and another man was discovered by police attempting to flush marijuana in the toilet, Joshi said it will be a challenge for prosecutors to make a greater connection between the defendants and the drugs or the defendants and the studio in order to make their case. Joshi says that Gleaton’s presence at the studio is not enough to convict him of the charges.