Rapper Kodak Black pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal weapons charges that prevented him from performing last weekend at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival, around which several violent incidents occurred.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres also granted the 21-year-old Black release on $550,000 bond with house arrest, although he faces other criminal cases that could keep him locked up.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Brown said Black was out on bail awaiting trial in a South Carolina sexual assault case — and that bail is likely to be revoked with these new charges.
In the weapons case, an indictment claims Black on two occasions falsely filled out federal forms to buy weapons at Lou’s Police Distributors in Hialeah, Florida. He apparently received three of those — a 9mm handgun, a .380-caliber handgun and a semi automatic Mini Draco weapon — one of which was left at the scene of a recent shooting in nearby Pompano Beach, Brown said.
The rapper, whose current legal name is Bill Kapri and who was born Dieuson Octave, was arrested before his scheduled festival performance. Authorities are investigating three unrelated shootings in the Miami area with possible connections to Rolling Loud, two of them fatal. No arrests have been made.
Besides the South Carolina sexual assault allegations, Black’s lengthy rap sheet includes a recent arrest in New York on drug and weapons charges as he crossed the U.S. border from Canada. That case is still pending as well.
In Florida, he has been charged at different times with drug and weapons possession, armed robbery, sexual assault, probation violations and fleeing from officers, but Black has never done significant prison time.
Law enforcement can be extremely overzealous when it comes what constitutes a valid weapons charge in their fight against crime. Many weapons charges are the result of police performing an illegal search of a person, home or vehicle. If you have been charged with a gun crime, you need to seek legal help as soon as possible. In certain cases, weapons charges can be dismissed entirely if an effective argument can be made that that the evidence obtained and subsequent arrest was based on an illegal search and seizure.