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Very Real

Rapper Juelz Santana Pleads Guilty To Gun Charges, Could Face Prison Time

Santana could be facing up to 20 years in prison after police found him with a loaded .38-caliber handgun at Newark Liberty International Airport back in March. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Rapper Juelz Santana could be facing time in prison after pleading guilty to gun-related charges on Thursday.

The 36-year-old rapper, whose real name is LaRon Louis James, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft in May, according to the Associated Press. Security at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and oxycodone pills — without a prescription — in his carry-on luggage in March. Santana initially fled the scene, but turned himself in to authorities three days later, the outlet also reports. He was released in April, after posting $500,000 bail.

Santana pleaded guilty to both charges in court on Thursday, the New York Daily News reports. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12, at which time he could face up to 20 years in prison, according to the Daily News.

Santana, a resident of Totowa, New Jersey, was initially placed on house arrest while awaiting trial, but a federal judge modified his bail conditions in June to allow him to tour and perform, on the condition that his mother accompanies him and that they travel by car rather than plane, doing so separately from other members of the tour, according to USA Today.

While awaiting charges in May, Santana told the USA Today Network that the situation was in “God’s hands.”

“I’m not a bad guy,” he said.

Santana, a father of three, added, “Family man, just praying for the best outcome, you know what I mean? Put it in God’s hands at the end of the day.”

The rapper’s trial was postponed last week in order for negotiations regarding a plea deal to continue, USA Today reports.

[Photo: Juelz Santana attends the Grungy Gentleman presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Pier 59 Studios on February 15, 2015 in New York City. By Fernando Leon/Getty Images for Grungy Gentleman]