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Here is why rapper Meek Mill is in jail, and why he has a trail of celebrity visitors

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right), and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin are among the people who have visited rapper Meek Mill in prison. The 30-year-old rapper is serving two to four years for violating his probation terms that stem from a 2008 gun and drug case. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

A trail of high-profile visitors has visited hip-hop artist Meek Mill, who's serving two to four years for violating his probation terms that stem from a 2008 gun and drug case.

Meek's recent visitors include billionaires Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and Michael Rubin, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner, and a separate visit from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

A cry for the 30-year-old rapper's release from prison has come from friends and fans alike.

What happened?

On Nov. 6, Philadelphia Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who has overseen Mill's case since his initial charges in 2008, sentenced the rapper to two to four years in prison for violating his probation.

How did Mill violate his probation?

Last year, police arrested Mill twice: once for fighting in the St. Louis airport and another for reckless endangerment and reckless driving on his motorcycle when he popped wheelies without wearing a helmet in New York City.

“I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” Brinkley told Mill during court proceedings, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In addition to the arrests, the Philadelphia native failed a drug test and didn't comply with his travel restrictions, according to the judge.

Mill will be eligible for parole after serving two years, Brinkley said, adding, “Then I’ll be done with you.”

Why do his supporters want him released?

Many of his supporters believe his sentence outweighs his crime.

“We have to do something with criminal justice reform. This kind of case, to be in a situation like this, it’s really bad,” Kraft told reporters Tuesday.

Kraft called Mill a close friend and a "great guy."

“When he gets out, he’s going to turn this thing around and inspire a lot of other people who have been treated unfairly,” Kraft said.

Kenney, who visited Mill Wednesday, said he believes the judge should grant the rapper bail.

“It seems that he would be doing more good on the outside than the inside,” Kenney said. “It just points to the need for real criminal justice reform in our country.”

But Rubin hasn't given up on the idea of an early release.

“I believe he will get out soon and that the right thing will happen,” Rubin said.

What else?

It's not Mill's first time to violate the terms of his probation.

He has served several stints in prison and house arrest for probation violations in 2012, 2014, and 2016, according to Billboard magazine.

“I’ve read many accusations that she’s lawsuit happy, that isn’t true, that she hurts people by suing them and threatening the people, which is absolutely not true. She follows the law. What you have here is a tough judge but she’s tough across the board. She’s tough with everybody. If you don’t want a tough judge, then don’t elect them,” Charles Peruto Jr., Brinkley’s counselor, told KYW-TV.

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