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Ja Rule leaves federal prison for home confinement

Ja Rule leaves federal prison for home confinement
Ja Rule is shown in March 2011 after pleading guilty to federal tax-evasion charges in Newark, N.J. On Tuesday, he traded federal prison for home confinement, where he'll serve the balance of his sentence. (Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Ja Rule took another step Tuesday toward life as a free man when he was released from a federal prison in upstate New York and headed home to begin home confinement for the balance of his sentence.

The rapper, real name Jeffrey Atkins, was picked up around 10 a.m. by his wife, who drove him straight home, a source told TMZ. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, his release date remains July 28.

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The 37-year-old will serve out his federal time in federally monitored home confinement, his rep told MTV in a statement.

"At present, he looks forward to spending some time with his family while he completes his memoir," the rep said. With proper permission, MTV said, he'll also be allowed to go to the recording studio and elsewhere if it's work-related.

Ja Rule had been in a state prison serving time on a gun charge from June 2011 until Feb. 21, when he was moved to the federal facility to serve the end of a tax-evasion sentence that had been running concurrently.

He has admitted failing to pay taxes on more than $3 million earned between 2004 and 2006, and reportedly owes about $1.1 million in back taxes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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