Rapper T.I. pleaded not guilty to federal weapons charges today (October 19) including possession of machine guns but was denied bail for a second time.
T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr., appeared at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and Courthouse in Atlanta this afternoon, after being arrested and jailed on October 13, for allegedly possessing unregistered machine guns and silencers, as well as being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.
Prosecutors also revealed that they found up to a half pound of marijuana in the rapper’s vehicle, for personal consumption, when he was arrested on October 13.
U.S. Magistrate Alan Baverman ordered the rapper jailed until at least next Friday, while he reviews a proposal by T.I.’s defense lawyer Ed Garland, who is attempting to free T.I. on $2.2 million dollar bond, which includes a cash deposit of $500,000 dollars.
Garland also offered millions of dollars in signature bonds from Atlantic Records, who put up a signed, $1 million bond, while several executives at Warner Music Group issued five $100,000 signature bonds for the rapper.
T.I. also provided two $100,000 signature bonds from a bonding company and he also put up properties that he owned valued at $1.5 million dollars.
Garland proposed putting a person in T.I.’s home to monitor him 24 hours a day and offered to provide a list of preapproved visitors who would be allowed to enter his home.
Additionally, the rapper offered to submit to random searches of his home and random drug screening.
Lawyers hope that cash bonds and volunteered monitoring will prove that T.I. is not a flight risk to US Magistrate Alan Baverman, who called the rapper’s past criminal record “troublesome.”
Baverman told defense attorneys that if T.I. was to be released, he would have to put up $2 million dollars in cash.
Prosecutors also revealed for the first time that the case is part of an ongoing investigation that may change the current indictment against T.I.
ATF agents arrested T.I. in midtown Atlanta last Saturday (October 13) as the rapper allegedly planned to pick up machine guns and silencers that his bodyguard was purchasing for him.
Various weapons were discovered during the arrest, including three allegedly found in T.I.’s vehicle at the time of his arrest and six more allegedly found in the bedroom closet at the 27-year-old rapper’s home in Atlanta.
The rapper’s arrest was the result of an investigation that began this month.
According a criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Atlanta, a federal firearms dealer contacted the ATF about a man inquiring about buying a machine gun without registering the weapon, as required.
The man, who turned out to be T.I.’s bodyguard, was later arrested after he attempted to purchase several machine guns from an undercover ATF agent.
As a result, the bodyguard cooperated with the government and admitted to buying the machine guns and silencers for T.I., who allegedly brokered the deals through the bodyguard because he is a convicted felon.
It is against federal law for a convicted felon to have another person purchase or acquire firearms on their behalf.
T.I. currently faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.