Rapper Lil Wayne faces up to 10 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty Friday to illegal gun possession, prosecutors said.
Lil Wayne had been charged with criminal possession of a firearm and ammunition as a prior felony offender. Prosecutors said the gold-plated, .45-caliber handgun carried in a bag on a private flight was loaded.
The rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, entered the plea in Miami federal court, according to a news release from US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
CNN has reached out to his attorney but has not heard back at this time.
Lil Wayne, 38, was arrested in December 2019 as he arrived on a flight from California at the Opa Locka Executive Airport. Officers spoke with the rapper, who told them that he had a gun in his bag, officials said Friday.
His lawyers noted in November, when the charge was announced, that the musician did not use his firearm.
“The charge is that because he was convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm,” attorney Howard Srebnick said.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 28, 2021.
“The federal sentencing guidelines call for substantially lower and I would not look at the maximum exposure to decide anyone’s sentence and all the facts need to be thoroughly reviewed,” Ronald Richards, another attorney for the musician, said in November.
The artist pleaded guilty in October 2009 to a felony gun charge as part of a deal with New York prosecutors. That charge stemmed from his arrest in 2007 outside of New York City’s Beacon Theater in which a .40-caliber pistol was found on his tour bus.
His attorney said at the time that the gun belonged to someone else, but Lil Wayne accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to a year in prison. He ended up serving eight months before being released.
Under federal law, convicted felons are banned from possessing guns.