Rapper Lil Wayne stood before an Arizona Superior Court judge on Tuesday to plead not guilty to six drug- and weapons-related charges, stemming from his January 22 arrest by federal agents along the state's border, just 75 miles outside Yuma, Arizona.
Wayne (real name: Dwayne Carter Jr.) is due to return to court on June 19, after pleading not guilty to possession of dangerous drugs, possession of a narcotic drug for sale, misconduct involving weapons and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Wayne's attorney, James Tilson.
The rapper was arrested after his tour bus was stopped on Interstate 8 by border patrol. The highway has several checkpoint stops due to its reputation for frequent trafficking of drugs and illegal aliens.
During a search of the bus — which was also occupied by seven other passengers and a driver — the border patrol and police canines allegedly found drugs, more than $22,000 in cash and three firearms. One of the guns, a .40-caliber pistol, was registered to Wayne in Florida. He could face gun charges if he violated any weapons laws in Arizona.
The other two weapons were legally registered to members of Wayne's camp. The authorities also discovered 105 grams of marijuana, 29 grams of cocaine, 41 grams of ecstasy and various drug paraphernalia. The DEA was immediately called in to investigate and subsequently arrested the three men. As of now, Wayne is charged with possession of cocaine, ecstasy and drug paraphernalia because the drugs were allegedly found in a bag that belonged to him. His associates were brought in for the marijuana. All three were taken into custody at the Yuma City County Jail.
The arrest is the most recent in a string of legal problems Lil Wayne has faced in the last year. Last 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.