Courts

Uzzy Marcus gets 5 years, 11 months in federal gun case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Federal judge John Mendez on Tuesday sentenced local rapper Uzzy Marcus to almost six years behind bars for illegally possessing a Ruger 5.7 during a foot chase through a Roseville apartment complex.

The rapper, whose real name is Marcus Lawrence Weber, pled guilty to the offense in April less than a month after charges were filed. Despite his acceptance of responsibility, prosecutors remained eager to hit the rapper with a stiff sentence.

In arguing for the maximum term of 10 years, Assistant US Attorney Adrian Kinsella pointed to Weber’s spotted criminal history in the Sacramento area, pointing to 11 cases including one that resulted in a mistrial following the rapper’s emotional denial of fatally shooting a 3-year-old boy when he was a teenager in 2012.

“Weber has consistently demonstrated a complete lack of regard for the law and even human life,” Kinsella wrote in a brief. “His history shows a pattern of heinous crime that has only been interrupted by incarceration.”

Weber’s attorneys asked for three years and a 500-hour counseling program, citing his quick acceptance of responsibility and troubled upbringing with a gang-affiliated father.

Public defender Megan Hopkins wrote in a brief that a sentence below 42 months would give Weber an opportunity to turn his life around before “it passes both him and his children by.” She said Weber carried a gun for self-defense due to his heightened popularity as a rap artist, following a similar path the lawyers of countless other rappers have laid out.

“Mr. Weber possessed a firearm for his own protection, because he is a well-known figure in the Sacramento rap music scene, and a combination of gang culture and historical conflict with rival rap artists has rendered Mr. Weber the subject of regular threats of violence and death,” she wrote.

Court papers say investigators located Weber hiding in a Roseville apartment complex while he was wanted on three separate felony cases. When the officers attempted to pick him up on the warrants with a traffic stop, he peeled off through the complex, darting around cars and families to get away.

Officers eventually surrounded the rapper’s Kia in a cul-de-sac. Instead of surrendering, he jumped out of the car, carrying the loaded firearm and wearing a black ski mask. As he ran through the complex near the East Roseville Parkway, he dropped the gun several times and picked it back up. After getting stuck in a dry creek bed, he tossed the gun and surrendered.

US District Court filings

After his arrest, Weber told the cops he carried the gun for protection and seemed to deflect when an officer questioned him on why he ran.

“You have four felony warrants, you just ran from police, and tossed a gun,” an unidentified officer said to the rapper.

“I know, but I ain’t kill nobody,” Weber answered. “This situation is really fucked up, the whole situation, because what my warrants is for … bullshit.”

The warrants Weber spoke of were for crimes including gun possession, drug possession, criminal threats, and domestic violence. The incidents span across several years, one involving a 20-minute assault on the mother of his kids in which he allegedly struck her with a gun and stomped on her stomach while she was pregnant.

In another incident, Weber allegedly fired a gun through the wall of his apartment, sending a bullet flying through his neighbor’s living room. Police say his three-year-old daughter told them she heard a “loud bang” and saw a gun on the table. When they asked where it was, she pointed out of the window.

A felony stalking case against Weber is currently pending a charging decision by the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, according to federal prosecutors. He’s also charged with threatening to kill a woman in Fresno.

Illegal gun possession, kept for the reason of self-protection, is a common charge racked up by rap artists across the country. Renowned Sacramento rapper Mozzy, one of Weber’s collaborators, recently reported to prison to serve two years after cops found a gun in his Mercedes in Culver City.

In a letter to the judge, where Weber apologized and asked for leniency, the rapper said he made a “poor decision” and revealed his two children had been taken into CPS custody.

“I’m far from a perfect young man and I cannot blame anybody but myself for the predicament I am in,” he wrote. “I let my family down and I’m ashamed of the situation at hand.”

Prosecutors have since been approved to search two iPhones confiscated from Weber’s apartment. An attachment filed in court said they were looking for information tied to possible sources of firearms.

Following Weber’s release from prison, projected to be in 2027, he will spend three years on supervised release. Judge Mendez has also recommended he undergo a 500-hour substance abuse treatment program operated by the Bureau of Prisons.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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