Entertainment mogul Austin returns home

July 10, 2006 at 9:47 PM
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AUSTELL, Ga., July 10 (UPI) -- Grammy winner Dallas Austin made his first appearance in his hometown of Austell, Ga., after getting a pardon on Middle East drug charges.

Atlanta music producer Austin came home after U.S. politicians and entertainers helped convince Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to throw out his four-year prison sentence in the United Arab Emirates, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The 35-year-old was arrested at Dubai International Airport on May 19 for possession of 1.26 grams of cocaine and was summarily sentenced to prison.

Austin's release was the work of musical icons such as Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones, who worked alongside U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah,s to facilitate it.

"The senator has good relations with the (U.S.) ambassador and other good people in Dubai and is confident that this talented young man will learn from this experience," a statement from Hatch's office said.

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