EXCLUSIVE: The mother and girlfriend of a low-level hip-hop producer from Englewood avoided prison yesterday for their roles in helping him import West Coast marijuana through the mail.
Angeline Piper received probation after admitting that she tried to cover up the drug distribution scheme run by her son, Craig Sydette Piper II — also known as “Piper.”
Prosecutors, in turn, dropped a weapons charge against her for a legally-owned Olympic Arms .223-caliber rifle that they said was seized when investigators intercepted a shipment.
The elder Piper, who will be 62 next week, said she is on disability from a back injury and has recovered from two different forms of cancer.
“I just want to say I’m sorry,” she told Superior Court Judge James J. Guida yesterday in Hackensack.
Also sentenced to probation was Andrew Reid, an office services employee with a Secaucus public relations firm, who admitted receiving 18½ pounds of pot for Piper at his Ridgefield Park home through the U.S. Postal Service.
At the same time, the live-in mother of Piper’s baby, Jazzelyn Sosa of Englewood, and his cousin, Tatakneisha White of Teaneck, were admitted to pre-trial intervention for their roles in the scheme. The program allows them to clear their records if they follow certain conditions.
Piper — who recently boasted of working with rapper 50 Cent — pleaded guilty to drug and weapons charges after he and the other three were arrested for receiving nearly 30 pounds of pot in separate shipments. U.S. Postal inspectors tipped off the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to the scheme, in which 10 pounds was delivered to the Belmont Street home that Piper and Sosa share and the rest to Reid.
The amounts were just under the legal limit for more serious penalties, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Pia Shepard said.
Piper was sentenced to three years in prison last month while charges against the other three were downgraded as part of a deal he made with prosecutors.
Yesterday, Shepard told Guida that it was ‘undeniable” that Angeline Shepard knew full well that her son was involved in drug trafficking.
“I don’t find her part of the transaction, but she hindered prosecution of her son,” the judge said. “She is obviously an educated person, and did something stupid. I don’t know if she has a pattern of enabling, but as a parent sometimes you do the best you can.”
According to Piper’s MySpace page, he is “a multifaceted artist who has managed to create his own lane and genre. It’s a unique blend that incorporates R&B, hip-hop, pop, rock-n-roll, house, and drum and bass…. As a freshman, Piper met P Sharp at Victor’s House of Music and the two began producing and recording.
“So as Piper worked on his degree, he also worked on his music,” it adds. “By his second year in school, Piper founded PIPER Records and used his company to learn the business even as he continued recording.”
He is also listed as having a small role in the credits of “Before I Self Destruct,” a 2009 direct-to-video film by rapper 50 Cent.
Piper’s publicity team also says he’s also the lead singer of a band called (1984), a project that’s “still in motion.”
STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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