36-year-old Harlem rapper JaRon James — better known as Juelz Santana — is to be prosecuted by federal authorities on gun and drug charges that he picked up earlier this month after being caught with a gun at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport.
The rapper’s bag was discovered to contain a loaded .38-caliber handgun at a security checkpoint, which prompted him to abandon two bags and flee the scene. After the bag was searched again, security discovered oxycodone pills that Juelz didn’t have a prescription for, along with his identification. Police went to his New Jersey home, but did not find him until he negotiated a surrender through his lawyer.
He turned himself in three days later and was arrested on charges of illegal drug possession attempting to bring a firearm on board a plane, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Originally he faced both state and federal charges, pleading “not guilty” to the state charges, however the state charges have been dismissed by Essex County prosecutors, who said they would defer to federal authorities.
Juelz had two prior convictions already which included one for gun possession. He was apparently still working on a collaborative album with Lil Wayne titled I Can’t Feel My Face, which has been in the works for over ten years.