With less than a day until he hands over power to Joe Biden on Wednesday, January 20, Donald Trump – acting in the capacity as the president of the United States on his final full day in office – is reportedly expected to grant pardons and clemency to over 100 people on Tuesday, and among the beneficiaries is Lil Wayne, according to Reuters.
The 38-year-old yet-to-be-convicted rapper pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge in December stemming from a 2019 arrest after authorities found a gun in his possession when a private jet he was on board was searched in South Florida. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 28 and he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Prior to the November presidential election, the rapper, born Dwayne Michael Carter, tweeted a photo of himself with Trump and lauded the the the Republican candidate’s criminal reform endeavors as well as his proposed Platinum Plan for the African American community. He also seemingly threw his weight behind the 74-year-old’s second presidential bid.
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“Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership,” Lil Wayne captioned the photo. “He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Following that meeting, Trump, in an interview, also had some good things to say about the Lollipop rapper. “Well he [Lil Wayne] wanted a meeting,” he said. “He’s a really nice guy. Really an activist in a very positive way. And he asked for a meeting and we had the meeting. And, as you saw, the meeting went very well.”
“Your honor, I plead guilty for the charge”
Per court documents, Lil Wayne was rounded up by authorities at the Opa Locka Executive Airport on December 23, 2019, following an anonymous tipoff. After the private jet he was on board was searched, officers found a gold-plated Remington 1911, .45-caliber handgun loaded with six rounds of ammunition in a bag that had his personal items. Personal use amounts of cocaine, ecstasy, and oxycodone were also found in the bag.
“Prior to December 23, 2019, Carter had been convicted of a felony, which made his possession of the gun and ammunition on that day illegal,” the statement said.
Before the hearing, Carter’s lawyer, Howard Srebnick, argued the searching of the plane was a violation of his client’s constitutional rights. That notwithstanding, Srebnick said Carter still agreed to accept responsibility, Rolling Stone reported.
“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. There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person. The charge is that because he was convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm,” Srebnick told the news outlet after his 2019 arrest.