Team Roc Files For Clemency for Man Serving 20 Years On Weed Charge

Source: Shareif Ziyadat / Getty

Jay-Z and Team Roc have made a formal plea to a judge in North Carolina to free a man serving a 20 year sentence for marijuana-related offenses.

First reported by the New York Post, the legal group that comprises the criminal reform arm of the rapper’s label sent a plea to a judge in North Carolina asking them to reconsider an initial request for the compassionate release of Valon Valles.

“Mr. Vailes has exhausted his administrative remedies with the [Federal Bureau of Prisons]; extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant compassionate release in his case; the relevant factors support release; and Mr. Vailes is not a danger to the community,” Alex Spiro, attorney for Team Roc argued in the filings on Wednesday (September 29th).

Valles, 55, had written a letter to Jay-Z & his cannabis brand Monogram asking for his help in obtaining Valles’ release from Otisville Correctional Facility in New York. Incarcerated since December 2007 after being found guilty of conspiring with intent to possess and sell more than a ton of marijuana from 2003 to 2007, Valles received a sentence of 20 years, with 10 years of supervised release afterwards.

“This correspondence is a plea to ask for your help with the intent to campaign for my clemency,” his letter read. “13 and a half years is a long time to be still incarcerated over a substance that has become the ultimate green rush.”

Spiro had filed the first motion for compassionate release in August on Valles’ behalf, citing that his family “desperately needs his support and assistance, and he does not present a recidivism risk.” Documents filed by Spiro also charge that Valles’ initial request was improperly handled by U.S. District Judge Frank Whitley, who noted that Vailes was “pro se motion” – which means he represented himself when in actuality he was represented by Spiro.

 

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