Lil Wayne faces federal gun possession charge for gold-plated handgun, previous convictions may get him 10 years
In July 2007, the rapper was arrested after his concert in New York and was charged with one count of criminal weapons possession. In 2010, he was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty
MIAMI, FLORIDA: American rapper, singer, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, and actor Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is facing a new federal weapon charge. Carter has been charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by the U.S. District Attorney in the Southern District of Florida.
As per news reports, the charge stems from a December 2019 incident. On December 23, 2019, the rapper flew into Miami aboard a private jet, a Gulfstream G-V, from California. The plane was stopped by federal agents who later found drugs and a firearm on the aircraft. Miami-Dade Police had reportedly received a tip about weapons and marijuana possibly being transported on Carter’s plane and then alerted federal authorities so they could obtain a search warrant to inspect the aircraft at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. During the search conducted by officers of the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and other agencies, they reportedly found cocaine and a gun.
As per court documents obtained by Pitchfork, the rapper has been charged with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Incidentally, Carter’s previous felony is also one of the possession of firearms. In July 2007, Carter was arrested after his concert in New York and was charged with one count of criminal weapons possession and one charge of criminal possession of a loaded weapon. Police searched his tour bus after allegedly smelling marijuana smoke.
Prosecutors claimed he tried to conceal a .40-caliber gun that was found on the bus, despite Carter’s lawyers repeatedly claiming that the gun did not belong to him and that police had no legal cause to be on the bus. In 2009, the rapper pleaded guilty to felony gun possession. He was sentenced in March 2010, in November the same year he was released from Rikers Island, having completed eight months of his sentence -- a year, with time reduced for good behavior.
The following day, Carter reportedly arrived in Yuma, Arizona, for a court appearance to sign documents connected to his 2008 arrest on drug and weapon possession charges when Ecstasy, cocaine, and a handgun were allegedly found in his tour bus. On June 30, 2010, while Carter was still serving his sentence for gun possession in New York, he was sentenced to three years unsupervised probation for the Arizona charges. He pleaded guilty to one count of drug possession in exchange for the dismissal of three other drug and weapons charges.
Carter’s attorney Howard Srebnick said that the rapper has been charged with possessing a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane. “There is no allegation that he ever fired it, brandished it, used it or threatened to use it. There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person,” said Srebnick. “The charge is that because he was convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.”
Srebnick further said, “Although the Supreme Court has not yet decided the constitutional question, Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently wrote an appellate dissenting opinion in which she stated that ‘Absent evidence that he either belongs to a dangerous category or bears individual markers of risk, permanently disqualifying [a convicted felon] from possessing a gun violates the Second Amendment’.”