updated 11/13/2008 3:31:04 PM ET 2008-11-13T20:31:04

An obese inmate nicknamed "Big Mike" was granted early parole because a Canadian prison could not accommodate his 430-pound frame.

Michel Lapointe, who served a 25 months for conspiracy, drug trafficking and gangsterism, was released from prison earlier this week, three months before he became eligible for parole.

The Quebec Parole Board said it based its decision on Lapointe's health, along with factors like good behavior and the support of his wife and mother.

They also stressed that Lapointe was not violent and did not pose a risk to society. The 37-year-old, former chef told reporters he was looking forward to getting on with his life.

Arrested on drug-related charges
Lapointe was arrested on drug-related charges in 2006 and pleaded guilty to all charges. At the time of his arrest, Lapointe weighed 375 pounds.

Defense lawyer Clemente Monterosso blamed the weight gain on the prison diet.

Overweight criminals have also been an issue in the United States justice system.

In May, Bernard Musumeci, a Long Island, N.Y., man accused of selling knockoff guitars was arraigned in a pickup truck in a parking lot because at 500 pounds, he could not fit into the courthouse.

In 1994, a Washington judge ruled Mitchell Rupe, who had shot and killed two bank tellers during a robbery, could not be executed because of he weighed 400 pounds. The judge said at the time that he might have to be decapitated. In 2006, the death-row inmate in Spokane, Washington, died of liver disease.

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