Lil Wayne Pleads Guilty To Federal Gun Charge, Faces 10 Years In Prison
Lil Wayne is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a gun.
On Friday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said the rapper had entered the plea in Miami federal court.
Back in December 2019, the rapper was charged with criminal possession of a firearm and six rounds of ammunition when a loaded, gold-plated .45 caliber handgun was found in his baggage aboard a private plane in Miami.
Wayne, who was previously found guilty of a felony crime, is prohibited from having a gun or any form of ammunition.
Prosecutors said police had received an anonymous tip off that Wayne was carrying the gun. Upon discovery, the rapper told police that it was a Father’s Day gift.
Police also found personal use amounts of cocaine, ecstasy, and oxycodone, the Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Wayne has reportedly reached a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for leniency but his sentence still lies in the hands of district judge Kathleen Williams, as per TMZ. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 28, 2021.
When his charge was announced in November, Wayne’s lawyers said the rapper did not use his firearm.
‘The charge is that because he was convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm,’ attorney Howard Srebnick said.
Srebnick said Wayne was ‘cleared’ to leave the airport despite the discovery of the firearm, and that he never ‘fired … brandished … or threatened to use’ the gun. There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person,’ he told TMZ.
Wayne is currently free on $250,000 bail (£186,000) but has been unable to travel as he had to surrender his passport.
Another attorney for the rapper, Ronald Richards, said a sentence as long as 10 years would be inappropriate.
‘The federal sentencing guidelines call for substantially lower [amount of prison time] and I would not look at the maximum exposure to decide anyone’s sentence and all the facts need to be thoroughly reviewed,’ he said.
In 2007, Wayne was arrested outside of New York City’s Beacon Theater after a .40-celiber pistol was found on his tour bus. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge in 2009, despite claiming that the fun belonged to someone else.
Under the agreement, he was sentenced to a year in prison but only served eight months before being released.
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U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida