UPDATED: 1:08 p.m. EST — Juelz Santana was charged on Monday with “one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of carrying a weapon on an aircraft,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
The federal charges, which “carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison,” stem from the rapper being stopped at Newark International Airport when security screening detected a gun in one of the carry-on bags. Santana quickly fled and was in hiding for nearly three days before he surrendered Monday morning.
On Friday, March 9, TSA at Newark Liberty International reportedly found a loaded .38-caliber handgun in Juelz Santana‘s bag. Once the weapon was discovered, the rapper allegedly fled the airport in a taxi. “As TSA started going through his bag, he ran out of the airport and jumped in a cab,” an agent told local news outlet the South Passaic Daily Voice. Santana allegedly left both of his bags behind, as well as an identification card.
Now, NBC New York is reporting the rapper has surrendered to authorities. He “turned himself in around 1 a.m. The 36-year-old Harlem-born performer faces charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, along with a charge related to an unspecified federal warrant, Port Authority officials said. He is due in Newark federal court later Tuesday.”
According to TSA regulations, bringing a weapon to an airport security checkpoint is punishable by a fine. In addition, Santana is a convicted felon, so he is possibly facing prison time.