Lil Wayne is free to celebrate Christmas in Miami after federal agents searched his private jet, but the rapper still faces potential charges after agents found at least one handgun and drugs, according to law enforcement sources.
The gun also qualified as bling — a gold-plated .45 caliber handgun with a pearl grip, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the plane search. The weapon, they said, was found in the musician’s Coach bag along with drugs, after the jet landed at Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport following a flight from California.
Investigators also found MDMA in pill and crystal form as well as weed, cocaine and heroin in the bag, but the quantity of each drug was not immediately known, the sources said. In addition, Lil Wayne’s chef, who was traveling with the rapper, had about $20,000 in cash on him, sources said.
Federal agents and Miami-Dade police officers discovered the gun and drugs after acting on a tip police had received about weapons and marijuana possibly being transported on Wayne’s plane, the sources said.
The federal search, which included investigators with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies, was carried out Monday evening after a brief wait for a magistrate to sign off on a search warrant. Miami-Dade police officers also took part in the search.
Miami defense attorney Howard Srebnick said late Monday that his client, Lil Wayne, was “cleared” to leave the scene Monday evening by federal investigators. Reached Tuesday and asked about the gun and other items investigators found, he declined further comment.
No immediate charges were filed, law enforcement sources said. Nonetheless, a federal grand jury could be impaneled after the holidays to consider gun and drug charges against Lil Wayne, the popular, 37-year-old rapper whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. He has a gun-possession conviction from a decade ago.
The plane — a Gulfstream G-V capable of accommodating up to 14 passengers and crew — was traveling from California, according to Opa-locka airport officials. Agents discovered that Lil Wayne, popularly known as Weezy, was a passenger on the plane along with others. All of the passengers had to wait at the airport until federal agents and Miami-Dade police completed the search of the private aircraft.
Word of Weezy being stopped by authorities in Miami sparked a buzz on social media, including Twitter.
This is not Lil Wayne’s first brush with the law. A decade ago, he pleaded guilty in New York to possession of a firearm stemming from his arrest in July 2007, when a loaded .40-caliber semi-automatic gun was found on his tour bus.
The rapper, who according to records now owns a 10,000-square-foot home in Miami Beach, made headlines in May when he refused to play the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival in Miami Gardens because of a mandatory police check.
Before he was set to take the stage, he tweeted: “I’m sorry but I won’t be performing.”
“The Festival Police (Not Rolling Loud) made it mandatory that I had to be policed and checked to get on the stadium grounds,” he posted. “I do not and will not ever settle for being policed to do my job and give you guys a great show.”
Lil Wayne, who doesn’t have any current tour dates, used to live in a 15,101-square-foot waterfront home at 94 La Gorce Circle on Miami Beach. He sold it for about $9 million in 2017.
That is the home that Lil Wayne lived in when he was the target of a hoax. Police swarmed the home after a report that four people had been shot. Police later said it was believed to be a swatting incident.
After a three-year legal battle with former label boss Bryan “Birdman” Williams, the New Orleans rapper released the highly anticipated “Tha Carter V” album in September 2018.