Lil Wayne faces 10 years in prison if convicted of firearms charge


Lil Wayne, who previously served eight months in Rikers Island on a felony weapons charge, is facing another trip to federal court. The rapper was charged Tuesday with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

If convicted, the 38-year-old rapper, real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The charge is related to the Dec. 23, 2019 search of the rapper’s private plane when he arrived at Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport on his way to California.

Following up on a tip that weapons and marijuana were onboard, federal officers from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched the aircraft, along with Miami-Dade police officers, the Miami Herald reported at the time.

Though weapons and drugs were found on the plane, Lil Wayne was “cleared” to leave the scene, defense attorney Howard Srebnick told TMZ at the time.

“Carter is charged with possessing a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane,” Srebnick told The Times in a statement Tuesday. “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.

“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,'” he added.

The rapper pleaded guilty in 2009 to attempted weapon possession, admitting he had a loaded, semiautomatic .40-caliber gun on his tour bus after a show in 2007.

Lil Wayne was sentenced to a year at Rikers Island in New York, starting in March 2010. With time off for good behavior, he was released eight months later. He wrote a memoir about his time behind bars, released in 2016 and titled “Gone ‘Til November.”

It was also announced Tuesday that Lil Wayne will perform — along with DaBaby, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa and YG — when Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. meet in the boxing ring on Nov. 28 in Carson. The exhibition match, to be held without a crowd in attendance, was previously scheduled for September.

———

©2020 the Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.