Lil Wayne Pleads Guilty to Possessing Gun as Felon

Lil Wayne performs on Day 3 of the 2018 Firefly Music Festival at The Woodlands in Dover, Del. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

MIAMI (CN) — Rapper Lil Wayne is facing another prison stint after pleading guilty to a gun charge in Florida federal court Friday.

Dwayne Michael Carter aka Lil Wayne announced the guilty plea as part of a deal with prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida. Carter’s raspy voice – which helped him sell millions of albums over more than two decades in the music business – sounded resigned during his Friday teleconference hearing. 

Prosecutors had hit him with a charge of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, stemming from a December 2019 raid in which police purportedly found a gold-plated gun and cocaine on his private plane at Miami Opa-locka Executive Airport. 

Under the plea deal, prosecutors will recommend that the rapper receive a prison term at the low end of the sentencing range.

In a 2019 reporting period, the average sentence for a standard felon-in-possession charge in federal court was about five years, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The lower range of sentences handed down on the charge hovers around one to two years. Less than 3% of defendants convicted of the charge avoided prison time, according to the Sentencing Commission report.

Lil Wayne’s attorney Howard Srebnick said Friday that the rapper has opted not to pursue what Srebnick considered to be a solid argument for illegal search-and-seizure in connection with the raid.  

“From the first moment [Carter] was approached by the police, he owned up to the weapon,” Srebnick said during the hearing. 

Carter’s sentencing is tentatively set for Jan. 28. He will be out on a $250,000 personal bond in the meanwhile. 

The rapper previously served eight months in prison in 2010 on a New York gun charge. While serving out that sentence on Rikers Island, he pleaded guilty to an Arizona drug possession charge that arose after law enforcement in Yuma found ecstasy and cocaine on his tour bus back in 2008.

The rapper has reportedly sold more than 100 million records worldwide. In 2009, his album “Tha Carter III” was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and garnered three Grammy Awards. 

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