US Rapper Lil Wayne has been charged by federal prosecutors in Florida with illegally possessing a gold-plated pistol and ammunition.
The US Attorney's office for Florida's Southern District charged the hip-hop artist, born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, his attorney, Howard Srebnick, confirmed to website TMZ.
The charges date back to 23 December, 2019, when federal agents searched a private jet that Carter was travelling on at Miami's Opa-locka Airport. They found a gold-plated .45-calibre pistol, ammunition, narcotics, including heroin, ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana, and almost $26,000 in cash.
The musician, who is banned from owning a gun following his 2009 firearms-related conviction in New York state, claimed that the gun was a Father's Day gift.
"There is no allegation that he ever fired it, brandished it, used it or threatened to use it," Srebnick said. "There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person."
The attorney added: "The charge is that because he was convicted of a felony in the past, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm."
US presidents often issue pardons for convicted felons and former close associates who have been imprisoned in the final days of their administration.