Rapper Chief Keef pleads not guilty to drug charge

Written By By Jim Newton Sun-Times Media Posted: 05/13/2014, 06:09am
Array Keith Cozart / photo from Highland Park police

Chicago rapper Chief Keef pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, two days after his cousin and collaborator was gunned down on a Chicago street.

Security was slightly heightened for the appearance of Chief Keef — whose real name is Keith Cozart — in the Lake County Courthouse, and he and his representatives were allowed access to a private elevator to get to the fourth-floor courtroom for his arraignment.

On Wednesday night, South Side rapper Big Glo — whose real name was Mario Hess — was fatally shot in the 5600 block of South Elizabeth. The 33-year-old rapper, performing as Blood Money, had collaborated with Chief Keef on a number of tracks, including “F–k Rehab,” a Chief Keef single released in March that has netted more than 13 million views on worldstarhiphop.com in less than a month.

Highland Park Police pulled Cozart over about 12:40 a.m. March 5 in the 2600 block of Skokie Valley Road after officers noticed he had an expired registration on his 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Police said Cozart seemed impaired by drugs, and that they could smell burnt marijuana coming from inside of his car.

Cozart later failed a sobriety test and was taken into police custody.

He was charged with one count each of driving under the influence of drugs, driving without a valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and having an expired registration. Cozart recently spent time in California serving a 90-day court-mandated rehab sentence after he pleaded guilty last year to testing positive for drugs while on probation.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 16.

Email: jnewton@stmedianetwork.com

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