ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Rapper Lil Wayne pleaded guilty on Friday to a federal charge that he owned a gun while a convicted felon following a 2019 search of a private plane in the Miami area .
The rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, pleaded in a remote hearing before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams.
“Your honor, I plead guilty to the charge,” Carter told the judge.
Williams has set a January 28 sentencing date. The charge carries a maximum jail term of 10 years, but it is likely that Carter would get much less time than that. He is free of a $ 250,000 bond, but had to return his passport.
Authorities said the 38-year-old rapper admitted to possessing a gold-plated .45 caliber handgun and six rounds of ammunition after his luggage was searched upon his arrival in the Miami area on December 23, 2019, from California. A search warrant said Carter told investigators the gun was a Father’s Day gift.
The charge stems from Carter’s gun convictions in New York over ten years ago, for which he was sentenced to eight months in prison. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from owning firearms.
Carter’s attorney Howard Srebnick said he viewed a motion to end the plane search a violation of the rapper’s constitutional rights. Carter, he said, wanted to take responsibility.
“I have to say I thought it was a very viable motion. He decided not to pursue a deletion motion, ”Srebnick said.
The Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office also said in the press release that investigators found small amounts of cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone in a bag belonging to Carter, but that he was not charged with no drug related crime.
As Lil Wayne, Carter has sold over 120 million records, won five Grammys and numerous other musical awards. He owns a house in Miami Beach and is the CEO of his own label, Young Money Entertainment.