Three days after border police stopped him at a checkpoint and turned up a variety of drugs and handguns on his tour bus, Lil Wayne was hit with felony drug and weapons charges in a Yuma, Arizona, courtroom on Friday (January 25). The Associated Press reports that 25-year-old Wayne (born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.) was in court as the Yuma County attorney filed one count each of felony possession of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, misconduct involving weapons and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wayne’s Arizona attorney, James Tilson, could not be reached for comment at press time.
A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for February 12, and the judge lifted a bail restriction on Wayne that allows him to leave the state. Virginia’s Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Friday morning that Wayne was expected to appear at his sold-out show at the Landmark Theater in Richmond. The rapper’s manager, Cortez Bryant, reportedly told the paper that Wayne would “definitely” be performing, explaining that he would fly out of Phoenix on Friday afternoon following his court appearance and land in Richmond in time to perform at the gig.
The latest legal entanglement for the rapper came on Tuesday when a search of his tour bus at a border checkpoint near Dateland, Arizona, uncovered nearly 4 ounces of marijuana, more more than 1 ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of ecstasy, drug paraphernalia, $22,000 in cash and a .40-caliber pistol that was registered to Wayne in Florida, where he has a concealed-weapons permit. Wayne was released from a Yuma County jail Wednesday night after posting $10,185 in bail. No information was available on one of the other men who was arrested at the same time and was expected in court on Friday as well. A third man was charged Friday with possession of marijuana.
The arrest is the most recent in a string of legal problems Lil Wayne has faced in the last six months. In July, the rapper was arrested on gun-possession charges just a few hours after his first major performance in New York. Three months later, he missed a scheduled concert after being arrested and jailed in Boise, Idaho, on a felony fugitive charge, which Wayne’s lawyer blamed on a paperwork mix-up.