Rapper T.I. will face a federal judge this afternoon (October 15) after being arrested over the weekend on felony weapons charges.
T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr., will appear before US Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman at the United States Courthouse in Atlanta later today.
Prosecutors will charge the rapper with possession of unregistered machine guns and possession of firearms by a convicted felon, after a federal investigation revealed the rapper was allegedly trying to purchase machine guns in Atlanta.
According to documents released by the ATF, the investigation started 11-days ago, when the rapper’s bodyguard asked a licensed gun dealer at The Gun Store about buying a machine gun and not registering it, as required by law.
On October 2, the dealer reported the incident to the ATF who started an investigation and provided a fictitious cellphone number to an undercover agent posing as a machine gun dealer.
Eight days later on October 10, Harris called the bodyguard to pick up $12,000 in cash to buy the weapons. The bodyguard met the undercover agent at a K-Mart in Doraville.
T.I.’s bodyguard then gave the agent $2,200 and a .223-caliber pistol in exchange for three 9mm machine guns and two 9mm silencers.
Federal agents then arrested the bodyguard, who revealed he was buying the guns for T.I. and that he had purchased almost 25 firearms over the past 18 months for the rapper, who is a convicted felon and legally barred from owning firearms.
In one incident in September, the bodyguard claims that the rapper gave him cash to purchase a Calico 9mm from The Gun Store.
After legally purchasing the weapon, T.I. allegedly invited the bodyguard into his bedroom, where the rapper showed the man a walk in safe with a finger-print scanner, tall enough for a person to enter.
Inside of the safe were a number of assault rifles in black duffle bags.
In another incident in September, T.I. asked the bodyguard to purchase a .500 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, which was allegedly given to Grand Hustle rapper Alfamega, who then delivered the weapon to T.I.
The next day, on October 11, the cooperating bodyguard called another bodyguard working for T.I. to discuss security services while agents were listening.
During the conversation, T.I. grabbed the phone and the bodyguard allegedly told the rapper he had “everything for you [referring to T.I.]”
On October 12, Harris called the cooperating bodyguard while federal agents listened and arranged to pick up the guns the next day.
On October 13, around 1:00 PM, T.I. called the bodyguard and asked him to bring the guns to a recording studio.
At the behest of ATF agents, the bodyguard arranged to meet in the shopping center parking lot in Atlanta.
The rapper arrived at the parking lot and the bodyguard, who was wired, entered T.I.’s vehicle.
The bodyguard asked the function of a silencer to which T.I. replied “No Flash, no bang.”
T.I. then asked the bodyguard what the “E” meant on one of the machine guns.
The bodyguard explained that the “E” meant semi-automatic mode, while the “F” meant fully automatic function, which T.I. Allegedly acknowledged.
The rapper inquired about ammunition, the capacity of the magazines and any change that might be left over from the purchase.
Federal agents then arrested T.I. without incident, recovering three firearms, including one between the drivers seat the center console.
T.I.’s girlfriend Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Grandhustle rappers Mac Boney and Young Dro were also arrested.
While Mac Boney and Young Dro were not charged with any crimes and released, Cottle, who was a member of the all-girl band Xscape, was charged with possession of marijuana and the drug Ecstasy.
A subsequent search of T.I.’s home recovered three rifles, two pistols and a revolver in the walk-in closet and safe in his bedroom.
Five of the firearms were loaded.
T.I. was held in federal custody over the weekend on two felony charges: possession of unregistered machine guns and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
“There are two sides to every story,” T.I.’s lawyer Dwight Thomas told CNN. “I’ve seen copies of the documents as a result of the search, but I have not seen any evidence yet, in terms of any physical evidence.”
Thomas also revealed to CNN that he was not aware of T.I.’s past criminal record as a convicted felon.
“The are two sides to every story, sometimes three.” Thomas said. “As you know we aren’t going to try the case in the press. Whatever his stance is will come out in the court of law, we won’t try it in the media.”