BY: RUSSELL CONTRERAS
BOSTON – The winner of the CBS reality show “Big Brother 9” appealed to a judge for leniency Friday, saying he wanted “a chance to get out and find out who I really am,” before he was sentenced to four years in federal prison on drug trafficking and tax charges.
U.S. District Court Judge William Young handed down the sentence while Adam Jasinski, 32, of Delray Beach, Fla., listened and nodded while his parents quietly sobbed. Jasinski was arrested for attempting to sell 2,000 oxycodone pills in October 2009 to a witness cooperating with the government in North Reading, Mass.
“You were drug trafficking, and you were drug trafficking until they caught you,” said Young. “You got to a position where you thought that the rules didn’t apply to you.”
The sentence came after Jasinski asked Young for a lighter sentence or time served. Jasinski pleaded guilty in October to possession with attempt to distribute oxycodone and failure to file a tax return for 2008, the year he won the $500,000 “Big Brother” prize.
“I’m sick. I won $500,000 and I blew it all,” said an emotional Jasinski, who also has admitted to being treated for bipolar disorder and drug addiction. “I apologize. I’m a mess…Give me a chance to get out and find out who I really am.”
Jasinski’s lawyer, Valerie Carter, sought for a sentence of around 10 months, or time served.
Young told Jasinski he had shown progress in seeking treatment for his drug addiction and his mental illness. Young said that’s why he opted not to adopt Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Ricci’s recommendation for a 4 1/5 year prison sentence.
But Young said it was the second time Jasinski was convicted on drug charges. He was sentenced to five years’ probation after his previous conviction in New York.
Jasinski had faced a maximum 14 years on the drug charge and one year on the tax charge.
After Jasinski won “Big Brother 9” in April 2008, Ricci said Jasinski failed to file an income tax return and failed to pay taxes owed on the prize money. The series features contestants who live under constant surveillance and vote once a week to evict each other.
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