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Producer Raphy Pina Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Illegal Weapons Possession | Federal

Federal judge Francisco Besosa sentenced convicted urban music producer Rafael Antonio Pina Nieves to 41 months in prison, three years of probation and a $150,000 fine.

Likewise, the magistrate ordered him to surrender today at 3:00 in the afternoon to the local office of the US Marshals Service to be admitted to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo.

On December 22, Pina Nieves was found unanimously guilty by a jury on two serious charges against him: possession of an illegal weapon and possession of a machine gun. This is Pina Nieves’ second conviction, after he pleaded guilty in 2015 to bank fraud.

Judge Besosa considered -as part of the sentence- the violence of firearms in Puerto Rico when establishing the sentence, something that has been shown to influence preventing their use. In addition, he mentioned that Pina Nieves was a federal convict for a previous case of bank fraud.

During the hearing, Pina Nieves was accompanied by her partner, the singer Natti Natasha, her children and her aunt Susana Pina Gómez, who had the opportunity to express herself in court. The singer Daddy Yankee also came to support the producer, whom he described as part of his family.

His partner and children hugged him disconsolately after the judge ordered the music producer to turn himself in today.

At the hearing, the lawyer María Domínguez spoke about the death of Pina Nieves’ father, and alluded to the fact that today marks the 22nd anniversary of her father’s death.

He also recalled the evidence presented in the case and the alleged discrepancies. He, in turn, insisted that Pina Nieves’ sentence not include a prison term and that, instead, she serve her sentence from her home.

Aunt’s testimony

Before being sentenced, Judge Besosa also allowed Pina Nieves’ aunt to issue statements on behalf of her family.

Pina Gómez emphasized that the music producer has always put his family as a priority while generating economic development on the Island through his businesses.

“Raphy does not represent a danger to our society, he is not a criminal or a drug trafficker. Much less a tax evader, as he has wanted to show. He is a successful young producer who has worked hard to fulfill his dreams, fighting for well-being of his family and who has four great reasons in his life, his children, his partner, his family, his artists, his employees, and his businesses, “said the producer’s aunt.

The woman concluded her appearance -on behalf of the children of Pina Nieves- asking to be given the opportunity to continue sharing with them.

Federal prosecutor José Ruiz, for his part, tried to counteract the defense’s message by recalling a shooting that took place at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, just the day there was a Daddy Yankee concert in 2019. He also reproduced a telephone conversation by Pina Nieves in which he admitted that he had weapons in his house located in Caguas.

Ruiz then insisted on his request that the music producer be sentenced to between 46 and 50 months in prison. “Do you know what is missing in this case? Acceptance and repentance (by the music producer) ”, expressed the prosecutor, who established that if the producer had assumed responsibility for him, they would have asked for the minimum sentence and not the maximum.

He begs to be allowed to be with family

Then, Pina Nieves took the floor to defend herself through tears.

“Today I face the most difficult situation that a citizen can face. Losing freedom,” he said.

“Today, before you I want to ask you with great respect to allow me to return to my family, who is waiting for me. They are waiting for their dad and the woman I love too. (…) Let me see my daughter learn to walk that, thanks to you, her honor, I was able to celebrate her first year as well as attend the graduation of Antonio (her son of hers) ”, she added.

“My future and the future of my family is in your hands,” he said.

When the judge began to read the sentencing guides, his daughter Mia burst into tears in the courtroom.

They had anticipated appeal

After the guilty finding in December, Pina Nieves’ defense notified the judge that they would be filing an appeal with the First Circuit.

The defense had asked the court last Friday to impose a probationary sentence, arguing that this would allow the convict to continue raising his children while serving the community.

Originally, Pina Nieves’ sentencing hearing was scheduled for April 1, a date that coincided with the second anniversary of the federal raid on her residence in Caguas Real, in which agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found the weapons of fire, the ammunition for which he would be convicted and a safe with $135,794 and 10,000 euros.

Subsequently, Judge Besosa reordered the sentencing hearing on five occasions.

On March 14, the defense asked the judge to allow Pina Nieves to remain free on bail while the appeal is being processed, a request that they first made before Judge Besosa. Although he has not yet issued a decision, today he ordered the music producer to enter prison this afternoon.

Pina Nieves himself assured on December 22, when he was found guilty, that he will appeal the case.

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