Juelz Santana charged with trying to bring gun on plane

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Juelz Santana has been indicted on weapons charges after authorities say the rapper tried to bring a gun on a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Federal prosecutors say the two-count indictment made public Wednesday charges Santana with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft. The indictment was handed up on Monday by a federal grand jury, and he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on both counts.

Santana initially faced both state and federal charges, but the state charges were dismissed after Essex County prosecutors said they would defer to federal authorities.

Santana had pleaded not guilty to state charges. His lawyer was not immediately available to comment Wednesday.

Authorities say airport security on March 9 found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and unprescribed oxycodone pills in a carry-on bag containing his identification.

They say he fled the area, leaving two bags behind. He turned himself in three days later.

The 36-year-old New York City-born rapper lives in Totowa, New Jersey. His real name is LaRon James.

Santana previously pleaded guilty to making a terroristic threat to commit a crime of violence in 2011 after an incident during which he also was charged with violating a restraining order. He also pleaded guilty to marijuana distribution in an unrelated case.