Juelz Santana's crimes: Loaded handguns, marijuana and $500,000 bail, rapper is a ‘free man’ after 2-year jail
In 2018, agents at Newark airport found a handgun on the rapper after which he fled
Rapper Juelz Santana was released from a medium-security prison on August 5. After serving almost 19 months of a 27-month sentence for weapons charges, he walked free on Wednesday, August 5, according to North Jersey.com. The Totowa resident, whose real name is LARon James, posted photos of reuniting with his family at the gates of the Petersburg Medium Federal Correctional Institution on Instagram.
He posted a selfie and captioned “Free at last”, with "#ImBack" and "#SantanaFree". He soon posted another photograph of himself with loved ones, stating, "I missed my family... GOD is good!!!". All of them can be seen sporting similar t-shirts and caps with the phrase ‘Santana Free’ inscribed on them. Earlier, in an Instagram video from the rapper’s account his wife Kimbella announced, “Juelz was supposed to get released last Tuesday but some shit happened. But we're outside of the prison now and he's gonna be released any minute. And I'll leave it all up to him when he gets out. Stay tuned!”
In March 2018, the artist arrived at Newark airport for a flight to San Francisco. According to a 2018 NBC New York report, when he was going through the screening at Terminal C around 6 pm, sources said, agents found a firearm. After the discovery, Santana allegedly fled the venue. As per the report, sources said that once the rapper was identified by authorities, he took off running and may have gotten in a taxi. According to court documents, as reported by North Jersey.com, he left behind a .38-caliber handgun, a New York State driver's license and two bags.
In 2018, TMZ had reported that apart from the gun, Santana allegedly also had eight oxycodone pills in his travel bag. During this incident, the musician had turned himself over to police after two days of the actual incident and pleaded guilty in August that year to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon onto an aircraft, according to North Jersey.com. As per this website, the Harlem native was scheduled to perform at The Grand Nightclub in San Francisco, according to an advertisement for the performance, during the time of this incident.
However, this wasn’t his only or first brush with the law. In August 2009, the ‘There It Go’ artist was arrested in Teaneck on charges that he allegedly threatened his girlfriend with a knife, as reported by The Record. Then, in February 2011, he was charged with alleged multiple weapons and drug offenses, including possession of a weapon without a permit, after authorities issued a search warrant at his Bergenfield recording studio, according to North Jersey.com.
The website further reports that, during that time, the authorities found two loaded 9mm handguns, an unspecified amount of ammunition and 17 plastic bags containing suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The report also states that the authorities at that time had said that they suspect the rapper was a member of the Bloods street gang, and he and several associates were selling drugs from the studio for some time. That arrest resulted in a 10-month investigation into gang activity.
Eventually, Santana pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree marijuana distribution charge, according to court records. The same year, he pleaded guilty to to third-degree making a terroristic threat to commit a crime of violence after an incident during which he also was charged with violating a restraining order, as per the report. In fact, he had missed a performance at Chris Brown's record release party when he was stopped and searched by police at the door, according to a Page Six report. At that time, Santana was out of jail on a $125,000 bail following the February 2011 incident.
Even in 2018, according to a report by XXL Mag, Judge Michael A Hammer had released the rapper into the custody of his mother after she secured a $500,000 bail bond with her Englewood, NJ home.