T.I. was honored with two awards at the recent BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta, but he was the last to hear about it.
A quick stop on the way to the ceremony landed the artist in hot water when he was collared by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after allegedly making an illegal weapons purchase.
U.S. Magistrate Alan Baverman has ordered T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris) to remain in police custody at least until a bond hearing set for October 19th.
Securing bail for the artist could be an uphill battle for his defense team. Federal agents have asked to keep the rapper in custody as the case proceeds, as Harris has a previous crack cocaine-dealing felony conviction on his record, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, which prohibits him from being in possession of a firearm.
According to an affidavit and criminal complaint obtained by the paper, Harris met with his bodyguard, who was cooperating with ATF agents and wearing a wire, to finalize an illegal purchase of three machine guns and two silencers October 13th.
Harris reportedly handed the bodyguard $12,000 for the weapons and asked for his change before agents moved in and arrested him without incident.
On four separate occasions, the bodyguard was given thousands of dollars in cash by Harris to purchase a total of nine firearms, the affidavit said, and the man told agents that during one deal, he saw an arsenal of assault rifles housed in a safe in the artist’s bedroom.
At a press conference following the court hearing, Federal agents displayed nine weapons they said were found in Harris’ car and in his closet. Among the weapons were an AK-47, 9 mm handgun, three machine guns and two silencers, according to the Journal-Constitution.
If convicted, Harris could face at least five years in prison.