[artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne's[/artist] guilty plea for felony gun possession in a New York court Thursday morning (October 22) is expected to result in a one-year prison sentence. The deal caps a case that began in the summer of 2007, when Wayne's tour bus was pulled over following his first-ever headlining concert in New York City. The police, who said they pulled the bus over because they smelled marijuana, searched the vehicle, found a gun and arrested Wayne on felony gun possession. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February of 2010.
But Wayne has been dodging legal bullets for a few years. As the rapper has ascended from journeyman MC in the Cash Money crew to one of the biggest stars in the world, trouble has followed him.
Back in August of 2006, Wayne was arrested in Atlanta
for possession of a controlled substance. While staying at the city's Twelve Hotel, management smelled marijuana and called the police, who found Alprazaloma (a generic form of Xanax) and hydrocodone. He posted bond but ran into trouble in October 2007 when he was arrested in Boise, Idaho on a felony-fugitive charge linked to the Atlanta arrest; because he was detained in Boise, he missed a scheduled concert there that night.
Wayne's lawyer blamed the Boise arrest on a paperwork mix-up, and those charges were dropped. As for the controlled-substance charges in Atlanta, that case was dismissed earlier this year.
But trouble didn't stop there. After his New York arrest in July of 2007, Wayne ran into trouble with the law again in January 2008. His tour bus was stopped by border-patrol agents near Yuma, Arizona, and a search yielded marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. Wayne plead not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in March 2010.
Wayne has had his share of civil cases, as well. Last year, he was sued by the publishing company that handles the Rolling Stones'
catalogue because he sampled the Stones' song "Playing With Fire" for his "Play With Fire" (which was on Tha Carter III but was subsequently removed). That suit was settled for an undisclosed sum earlier this year.
Folksinger Karma-Ann Swanepoel brought up a suit that alleged that her song "Once" had been illegally sampled in Wayne's "I Feel Like Dying" (a song that never got an official release) and hip-hop producer Mali Boi alleged that Wayne took the beat for Tha Carter III's "Mrs. Officer" from him; Wayne later sued Mali Boi.
Wayne has also been sued twice this year by concert promoters for taking advances and then failing to perform. Both suits — one stemming from a show in Rochester, the other from a performance in the Bahamas — are still pending.
And earlier this year, Wayne sued to block the release of a documentary called "Tha Carter," a film about the rapper that shows him repeatedly drinking syrup. But a California judge threw the case out, allowing the movie's producers to seek distribution.
As for his New York gun-possession case, the rapper is scheduled to return to the city on December 15 for a status hearing before he will formally be sentenced on a to-be-determined date in February of next year.