Rapper Lil Wayne flew into Miami on Monday aboard a private jet that was stopped by federal agents who later found drugs and a firearm on the aircraft, according to law enforcement sources. Charges could be filed in federal court.
Miami-Dade Police had received a tip about weapons and marijuana possibly being transported on Wayne’s plane, and then alerted federal authorities so they could obtain a search warrant to inspect the aircraft at Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport, the sources said. During the search, investigators found cocaine and a gun, they 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. Miami-Dade police officers also took part in the search.
Miami defense attorney Howard Srebnick said his client, Lil Wayne, was “cleared” to leave the scene Monday evening by federal investigators.
No immediate charges were filed, law enforcement sources said.
If anyone had been charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the person could have spent a Christmas in federal custody. Under normal protocol, anyone charged would be taken to the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami and would have a first appearance in federal court on Thursday. The federal courts are closed Tuesday and Wednesday for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
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, 37, popularly known as WEEZY whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., 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.
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.”
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.