The rapper Lil Wayne pleaded guilty on Friday to having illegally carried a gold-plated .45-caliber Glock handgun and ammunition as a felon while traveling on a private jet last year.
“Your honor, I plead guilty,” the musician, 38, told the judge during a virtual hearing in Miami federal court. Having been convicted of a gun charge previously, in 2007, Lil Wayne faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 28, though taking responsibility may result in a lighter punishment.
Lil Wayne, born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was charged last month with one count of possessing a firearm and ammunition as a felon, stemming from an incident on Dec. 23, 2019, in which an anonymous tip led Miami police officers and federal agents to search a jet that he had been on. Authorities said that in addition to the gun — which Lil Wayne said at the time he had received as a Father’s Day gift — they found cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, heroin, pain killers and prescription-strength cough syrup, along with nearly $26,000 in cash. He was not charged with any drug offenses.
Howard Srebnick, a lawyer for the rapper, said last month that his client had not been accused of brandishing or using the gun, and questioned why convicted felons had been stripped of their Second Amendment rights.
Although Lil Wayne had recently appeared with President Trump, and endorsed him shortly before the election, Srebnick said at the time of the charge that he was “not aware of any attempt by the White House to intervene on Carter’s behalf in this case.” The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida said that no one from the White House had “called or intervened.”
Srebnick did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Lil Wayne, who recently released a new mixtape, “No Ceilings 3,” was also the subject of litigation in civil court this week. Ronald Sweeney, a veteran entertainment lawyer, sued the rapper for more than $20 million, claiming that he had not been fully compensated for his management role in 2018, amid a contract dispute between Lil Wayne and his longtime labels, Cash Money Records and Universal Music Group.
Representatives for the rapper did not respond to a request for comment on the suit.
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