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Rapper Lil Wayne charged with federal gun offense in Florida

Police found the weapon, a gold-plated handgun, inside

Police found the weapon, a gold-plated handgun, inside Lil Wayne's luggage when he arrived in Miami on a private plane on Dec. 23, 2019. Wayne reportedly told police the gun was a Father's Day gift. Credit: Invision / AP / Owen Sweeney

Rapper Lil Wayne was charged Tuesday in Florida with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a federal offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Documents filed in Miami federal court say the rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., had a gun and ammunition on Dec. 23 of last year despite knowing he had the previous felony on his record.

Authorities said the 38-year-old rapper acknowledged owning the gold-plated handgun after his luggage was searched upon arriving in Miami on a private plane. A search warrant, first reported by the Miami Herald at the time, said Carter told investigators the gun was a Father's Day gift.

Carter's attorney, Howard Srebnick, said in an email that there are legal questions about whether mere possession of a weapon by a felon not judged to be dangerous fits the definition of a crime.

"Carter is charged with possessing a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane. There is no allegation that he ever fired it, brandished it, used it or threatened to use it," Srebnick said. "There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person."

Investigators also reported finding suspected illegal drugs in the luggage, but Carter has not been charged with a drug offense.

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