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Rapper adds to rap sheet

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An amateur Winnipeg musician has added two more singles to his lengthy rap sheet — and scored a decade-long prison sentence in the process.

Pardeep Kapoor had a busy day at the courthouse Monday as he disposed of a pair of separate, unrelated cases. He appeared in the morning to plead guilty to having a loaded handgun, then came before a different judge in the afternoon and admitted to selling half a kilogram of cocaine to an undercover police agent.

Kapoor, 32, was given three years for the weapons offence and another seven years for the drug transaction as part of plea deals struck with the Crown. He has numerous other convictions in the past, including drug dealing, robbery, assault and failing to comply with court orders.

Defence lawyer Sheldon Pinx said this will be Kapoor’s third — and longest — stint in a federal penitentiary.

"Sentences don’t get any shorter when you get into the kind of time he’s receiving today," Pinx told court.

Kapoor has recorded a handful of rap videos which have been posted online and were seized by police during their investigation because of references to gangs, drugs and weapons. He has claimed to be a member of the Independent Soldiers, a gang based primarily in British Columbia and Alberta. He was born in Winnipeg but spent several years living in Calgary before recently returning, court was told.

Kapoor was first arrested last August inside a vehicle with two other people. A police search uncovered a loaded .22-calibre handgun in his girlfriend’s purse, which Kapoor admits was his. He spent a few months in custody before being released on bail.

Kapoor was re-arrested last February as part of a major police operation dubbed "Project Deplete." Officers seized more than $1 million worth of drugs and charged 13 people with various deals which were caught on video and audio surveillance dating back to 2010.

In Kapoor’s case, he set up a meeting with a long-time criminal who was secretly working for police. Kapoor agreed to self him the half-kilogram of cocaine in exchange for $22,000. The deal went down in the parking lot of a Winnipeg restaurant, with police looking on. Officers also intercepted a series of text messages, including one where the agent is told "The chocolate is almost ready" which was code for the drugs being en route.

"The agent pursued Mr. Kapoor, Mr. Kapoor did not pursue the agent. He was directed to target certain individuals in the city," Pinx said Monday. Kapoor hopes to use his time behind bars to upgrade his education and get ready to pursue more legitimate job opportunities when he is released, court was told.

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