Multiplatinum rapper Lil Wayne, 38, was indicted on Tuesday with possession of a firearm and ammunition as a criminal, according to a file filed by the U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, following a search of a private jet in Miami last December. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Lil Wayne, born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., previously pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a weapon in connection with a firearm found on his Manhattan tour bus in 2007. He served eight months of a ‘one year in Rikers Island Prison. .
On December 23, 2019, an anonymous tip led Miami police and federal agents to board the rapper’s Gulfstream V jet at the Opa-Locka executive airport after traveling from California, according to The Miami Herald. On board, in a Coach bag belonging to the musician, officers reported finding a .45 caliber gold-plated Glock handgun with a pearl hilt. According to a warrant, Lil Wayne said he received the gun as a gift for Father’s Day.
Authorities also reported finding bullets, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, heroin, pain relievers and prescription cough syrup, as well as $ 25,938 in cash, according to the warrant, although Lil Wayne has not been charged with any drug related offense.
A lawyer for Lil Wayne, Howard Srebnick, admitted in a statement that the rapper was charged with possession of the gold-plated handgun, but raised questions about the criminals’ Second Amendment rights.
“There is no claim that he ever fired, brandished, used or threatened to use it,” Srebnick said of the weapon. “There is no claim that he is a dangerous person. The charge is that because he has been convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from owning a firearm.
He added: ‘Although the Supreme Court has not yet decided on the constitutional question, Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently wrote a dissenting opinion on appeal in which she said:’ In the absence of evidence that he belongs to a dangerous category or has individual risk markers, permanently disqualifying [a felon] to own a gun violates the Second Amendment.
Lil Wayne, a native of New Orleans and famous since his teens, is widely regarded as one of the most influential rappers of all time, based on more than a dozen albums and many other mixtapes and appearances from ‘guests. Her most recent album, “Funeral,” opened at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in February, becoming her fifth title to reach No. 1. He is also the author of a prison memoir, “Gone ‘Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island,” published in 2016.
The rapper recently appeared, ahead of the election, alongside President Trump in Florida, and received backlash from fans for vouching for the administration’s work in the black community. “He listened to what we had to say today and made sure he would and he could do it,” Lil Wayne tweeted after the meeting.