Rapper Juelz Santana and Grungy Gentleman designer Jace Lipstein pose at the Grungy Gentleman presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Pier 59 Studios on Feb. 15, 2015, in New York City.
Photo: Fernando Leon (Getty Images for Grungy Gentleman)

A federal grand jury indicted rapper Juelz Santana on weapons charges Monday in a case stemming from an incident in which he is alleged to have attempted smuggling a handgun onto a flight at Newark Liberty International Airport.

NJ.com reports that the 36-year-old member of the Diplomats—whose real name is Laron James—attempted to board an evening flight to San Francisco at Newark Airport on March 9 with a .38-caliber derringer in his carry-on luggage.

As a convicted felon, Santana is prohibited from possessing a firearm. In 2013 he was convicted of manufacturing and selling drugs.

Port Authority police said in their criminal complaint that on the night in question, he “paced the area nervously and requested that several individuals screen his bag expeditiously because he was going to miss his flight.”

Santana eventually left the Transportation Security Administration screening area, leaving behind two bags and his identification. When TSA agents checked the bags, they found the gun as well as two live rounds.


Santana was arrested a few days later and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a weapon on an aircraft, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of drugs.

Monday’s indictment charges him with one count of carrying a firearm on an aircraft and one count of possessing a weapon as a previously convicted felon. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

An arraignment in U.S. District Court is set for May 10.

In the meantime, Santana is free on $500,000 bond with electronic monitoring and travel restrictions.


Boy. Oh boy.