American rapper Lil Wayne could be sent to jail after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a loaded, gold plated gun. The 38-year-old musician was busted in 2019 by police who searched his private jet while at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport in Florida.
Officers discovered that Lil Wayne had a gun in his bag – along with a number of “personal use” illegal drugs. On Friday, the rap star was reported to have struck a plea deal with authorities in a Miami court – with the star accepting responsibility for federal gun charges relating to the incident which occurred on December 23 last year.
The star told U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams during a virtual hearing in Miami federal court: "Your honour, I plead guilty." TMZ reports that police found: “a gold-plated Remington 1911, .45-caliber handgun loaded with 6 rounds of ammunition” during their December 2019 search. The outlet adds: “they also claim they found a bag containing personal use amounts of cocaine, ecstasy, and oxycodone.”
The New York Post notes that the star: “was not arrested, but was later charged with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.” It is believed Lil Wayne could face a maximum 10 years behind bars over the crime. However, reports suggest a plea deal will see him given a more lenient sentence due to his “guilty” confession during the hearing on Friday.
Reuters notes: "Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of Florida said in a written statement that police had received an anonymous tip that Wayne was carrying the firearm. "Howard Srebnick, the last known lawyer representing Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, did not immediately respond to requests for comment."
TMZ claims the musician will receive a lenient sentence as: "the government agreed to recommend a lighter sentence because he's accepting responsibility." Lil Wayne is set to be sentenced next month, on January 28, by Jude Williams. The rapper has previously spent a year in jail following a 2009 court case in which he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon while he was in New York.