Rapper Chief Keef pleads no-contest to drug charge


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls drug case involving a rap music celebrity has ended with a plea deal.  The performer known as Chief Keef won’t be spending any time in jail following his no-contest plea Friday.

Chief Keef’s real name is Keith Cozart.  Police arrested Cozart nearly two years ago at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport after security found marijuana edibles in his bag.  He pleaded no-contest to possession of a control substance, which is a felony.  But the judge gave him a suspended imposition, which means he won’t have to serve any time, as long as he doesn’t break any more laws.  Meanwhile, his lawyer wants the South Dakota legislature to clarify the state’s marijuana laws.

Keith Cozart’s attorney told the judge that the rap star won’t be making any more trips to South Dakota following his drug arrest.  But he changed his tune after the plea hearing.

“I’m sure he’ll change his mind, but it hasn’t been the best terms for him,” Cozart’s attorney Grant Alvine said.

Cozart had performed at an anti-bullying event at the University of Sioux Falls just before his arrest.

Prosecutors said South Dakota welcomes everyone into the state, but visitors need to leave their drugs at home.

Cozart’s attorney says South Dakota laws concerning marijuana, and in particular the active ingredient THC contained in chewable products, are too vague. 

“Currently, our law as pertains to what tetrahydrocannabinol felony and what is marijuana is at best, confusing,” Alvine said.

Alvine told the judge that Cozart has a marijuana license in his home state of California.  Cozart’s attorney says he’s not sure how this drug case will impact his rap career moving forward.

“I just think that he’s continuing to write new music and move on with his career,” Alvine said.

We asked Cozart for an on-camera comment, but he declined.

Cozart will have to pay a $500 fine, plus $104 in court costs and a $99 testing fee.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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