Rapper Lil Wayne gets probation on drug charge
PHOENIX (Reuters) - Rapper Lil Wayne, already serving one year in a New York jail for a gun-related crime, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years probation in Arizona on a drug possession charge.
Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was spared time in an Arizona jail under a plea deal stemming from his January 2008 arrest at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in the state.
Under the deal, the 30-year-old Grammy winner pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a dangerous drug. Three other drug and weapons charges were dismissed.
Wayne appeared in court via a video hookup from New York, where he has been jailed since March after pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
James Tilson, Carter's Arizona attorney, said he was pleased with the court's action.
"We're quite glad that we were able to wrap everything up," Tilson told Reuters. "It's a favorable plea agreement that will allow Mr. Carter to pursue his career."
Carter will begin his Arizona probation following his New York sentence, Tilson said.
The rapper's tour bus, carrying 11 others, was stopped and searched by Border Patrol authorities after they said they were alerted by a drug-sniffing dog. Agents found nearly four ounces of marijuana, an ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of Ecstasy and a .40-caliber pistol registered to Carter.
Carter, whose album "Tha Carter III" was the biggest-selling U.S. release of 2008 and won him best rap album and three other prizes at the 2009 Grammy Awards. His album "Rebirth" was released on February 2 after delays and largely negative reviews.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)