Juan Rivera Saavedra was in jail for a combined total of just over 20 years having been to jail on two separate occasions. The first time the 46 year-old singer went to jail, albeit briefly, was for drug possession while the second time he did, was for illegal possession of firearms. This time around he was sentenced to spend 20 years in prison.
Born in Long Beach, California, on February 22, 1978, Juan Rivera Saavedra is an American singer of Mexican ancestry. While he is quite successful as a singer, his relationship with the late queen of Banda, Jenni Rivera further adds to his illustrious profile as an entertainer.
While he appears to have turned his life around, fans of the singer may be surprised to learn that the dashing singer had it rough in his younger days and was engaged in activities that eventually got him locked up. Here is what we know about those trying times for Juan Rivera Saavedra.
Juan Rivera Saavedra Initially Went To Jail For Drug Possession
As a young lad, Juan Rivera Saavedra knew his way around music due to the fact that his parents, Pedro Rivera and Rosa Saavedra introduced him and his siblings, one of whom is the iconic Jenni Rivera to music from a very young age. Just like the rest of his siblings, Juan Rivera Saavedra seemed well on his way to making a name for himself in the music industry after beginning his music career at the age of 16 in 1994.
Unfortunately, though, those dreams of making it big through music were temporarily sidelined due to the equally unfortunate situation that the then-17-year-old Rivera found himself in. Things went sour for a young Juan Rivera Saavedra in February 1995 when he was arrested for drug possession.
So far, though, it would appear that the Rivera family has found a way to sweep the events that led to the arrest of the singer all those years ago out of the spotlight because the detailed accounts of the 1995 incident seem to be only known to Juan Rivera, the government and those close to the singer or members of his own family.
The American-born singer of Mexican descent ended up spending about a year in prison for his ill-informed drug-related actions. dfollowing this, he released his first record, El Atizador in 1996 when he was 18 years old. During these trying times while he was in jail for the first time, the singer/actor considered taking his own life.
The suicidal thoughts were stirred up after he witnessed the deplorable conditions the prisoners were made to live in at the prison he was sent to. According to the singer, he saw firsthand how the guards treated the prisoners no better than animals further stating that the guards would spit and urinate in the prisoners’ food just to humiliate them.
Witnessing the horrors of prison life forced the singer to re-evaluate his life after being successfully steered away from thoughts of suicide by his friends and family members. Fortunately for him, and as previously mentioned, several sources allude to the possibility that he only spent about one year in prison.
He Spent About 2 Decades In Prison The Second Time Around
Recall that Juan Rivera’s criminal history shows that he spent time in jail on two separate occasions. The second time around, the singer was a bit older than he was the first time he was sent to jail, and given that he already had a record, his sentence was a bit harsher than the first time and he ended up spending about 20 years in prison.
Before we get to the reason for Saavedra’s second incarceration that bagged him 20 years, let’s detour a bit and reveal the fact that the singer’s re-evaluation led to a decision to complete his high school education before subsequently bagging a degree in Communication Sciences from the University of California, Long Beach.
However, a few years later, the singer went off the rails again and did something relatively more stupid than the actions that landed him in prison the first time around. There are varying degrees of punishment for illegally carrying firearms in the state of California ranging from a $1,000 fine and a year spent in county jail to a more serious felony charge that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison.
One would think that someone as educated and informed as Juan Rivera Saavedra would be aware of these consequences and would have refrained from illegally possessing a gun instead, that was exactly what he did. Suffice it to say that he suffered the consequences of his actions and in a very harsh manner.
We have yet to ascertain whether the singer spent all 20 years in prison due to the dearth of information regarding his period of incarceration. Several sources have suggested that he did. In addition, it is important to point out that Juan Rivera Saavedra is no longer in jail.
Juan Rivera Saavedra’s Sister Wrote To Him In Prison
Juan Rivera Saavedra’s more illustrious sister Jenni Rivera, also a highly talented singer, died in a plane crash on December 9, 2012, and during the 8th anniversary of her death, the singer paid tribute to her for a lot of things including for the love and unyielding support she and the rest of the family showed to him when he was behind bars.
The singer’s suicidal tendencies while in prison were squashed particularly because of the letters she wrote to him then. The letters essentially encouraged him to have a more positive outlook on life and pass the test that his time in jail had presented. Thankfully, he listened and things are a lot different today.
Juan Rivera Saavedra considers those letters to be amongst his most priced possessions, and the singer further sees the success of his music career as a tribute to his big sister. One could also argue that a career that has earned him a net worth estimated to be well over $10 million has been a fitting tribute.
The Singer Lives In California With His Wife And Kids
After years of hugging the spotlight for the wrong reasons, Juan Rivera Saavedra is a changed man and one of the people who has been by his side through thick and thin is his wife, Brenda Rivera. Although they only got married in 2017, they have been together for longer than that.
They have four children together and currently share a home in California, Saavedra’s base of operations as a musician and an actor.