President Donald Trump has saved US Rapper Lil Wayne from going back to prison by granting him a presidential pardon.
The multi-platinum rapper had received a full presidential pardon from President Trump blocking a possible 10-year prison sentence over a gun charge.
Dwayne Micheal Carter AKA Lil Wayne was scheduled for a sentencing on January 28 in a Miami courtroom after pleading guilty to bringing a loaded, gold-plated .45-caliber Remington handgun with him on a private jet to Miami in December 2019.
The rapper and father of four kids had told officials that he had received the gun as a Father’s Day present. However, Lil Wayne already had a prior felony weapon conviction making his possession of a gun illegal.
As a result, he opted for a guilty plea almost a year later on December 11, 2020.
Wayne’s last-minute pardon is one of President Trump’s dozens of presidential pardons as he prepares to vacate office.
On Monday morning Trump granted 73 pardons, including his former strategist Steve Bannon and GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy.
Wayne’s pardon comes as no surprise as the rapper had aligned himself with Trump just before the November 2020 US election. A move that had earned him instant backlash from fellow rapper 50 Cent on Social Media.
However, it should be noted that Wayne was one of several rappers courted by Trump as he sought to reach black voters during the election. Other rappers aligned with President Trump include Kanye West, Ice Cube.
Only days before the election, Wayne has posted a picture of him and Trump in Florida to his almost 35 million followers.
“Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump,” Wayne wrote. “He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Wayne’s tweeting his picture with the president and his perceived loyalty may have contributed to keeping him from going back to prison.
The Grammy Award rapper had served in Rikers Island on a weapons charge in 2010 after cops had found a gun on his tour bus in 2007 following a gig at Manhattan’s Beacon Theater. Wayne pleaded guilty at the time, and after reaching a deal with prosecutors, he served only eight months of a year-long sentence.
In 2019, Wayne was busted after an anonymous tip about firearms and narcotics on the rapper’s private plane was given to the police.
According to court documents, the cops arrested Wayne at the Opa Locka Executive Airport just as the rapper was stepping off a flight from California.
Wayne told police he had a gun in his bag and armed with a warrant; the cops found the weapon along with “personal use” amounts of cocaine, ecstasy, and oxycodone.
The White House statement on Trump’s presidential pardon highlighted the “generosity” and “commitment to a variety of charities” of Lil Wayne.
It went on to quote sports personality Deion Sanders, who advocated for Wayne’s pardon, and described the rapper as a “provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith.”