Lil Wayne has been charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon after federal authorities discovered a gold-plated gun during a search of his private jet in Miami last year.
The 38-year-old rapper, who threw his support behind President Trump prior to the election, was charged on Tuesday.
The federal offense, which carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, was brought against him by the US Attorney’s office in Miami.
The charge stems from an incident in December last year when federal agents raided his plane at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport.
Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., has a felony gun conviction from New York back in 2009.
It is not yet clear what took so long for the charge to be brought against him.
Lil Wayne, who threw his support behind President Trump prior to the election, has been charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon after authorities discovered a gun during a search of his private jet in Miami last year
The rapper, who has a home in Miami Beach, will face federal court in Miami on December 11.
The private jet was searched by federal agents when it landed in Florida from California on December 23.
Miami-Dade Police had called in federal authorities after receiving a tip that the plane was transporting weapons and marijuana.
When FBI agents boarded the jet, Wayne told them he had a gold-plated gun in his luggage, according to search warrants obtained by the Miami Herald.
He said the gun was a Father’s Day gift.
Prosecutors say they also found bullets, cocaine, marijuana and nearly $26,000 in cash on the plane.
Wayne has not been charged with any drug-related offenses.
Following news of the charges, his attorney Howard Srebnick said there are legal questions about whether mere possession of a weapon by a felon not judged to be dangerous fits the definition of a crime.
‘Carter is charged with possessing a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane,’ he said.
The private jet was searched by agents when it landed in Florida from California on December 23. Wayne is pictured above on a private jet in January
The charge stems fromab an incident in December last year when federal agents raided his plane at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport
‘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. The charge is that because he was convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.’
The charge stems from a weapons conviction that he got more than a decade ago in New York for which he was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Convicted felons are barred under federal law from owning firearms.
His attorney argued that the circumstances were fit for Supreme Court review because the issue of a convicted felon possessing a gun hadn’t been decided as a constitutional question under the Second Amendment.
He noted an opinion from Justice Amy Coney Barrett, prior to her being confirmed to the Supreme Court last month, in which she argued that only dangerous felons should be stripped of their rights to bear arms under the Second Amendment.
‘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’.’
The opinion was not to the rapper’s specific case.
Lil Wayne has sold over 120 million records, has won five Grammys and numerous other music awards.
He owns a home in Miami Beach and is CEO of his own record label, Young Money Entertainment.