ATLANTA – T.I. was ordered Monday to remain in custody on federal weapons charges until a bail hearing later this week.
The chart-topping rapper was arrested Saturday, hours before his scheduled performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards. Federal authorities say he tried to buy three machine guns and two silencers from a man cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.
T.I., born Clifford Harris, appeared briefly in federal court Monday. Wearing a black shirt and black jeans, he entered the courtroom expressionless and scanned the crowd filled with family, supporters and media.
The government wants to keep the 27-year-old rapper in custody as the case proceeds, but his attorneys planned to argue for his release on bond at a hearing scheduled for Friday.
A federal firearms dealer contacted the ATF this month about a man seeking to buy a machine gun without registering the weapon, according to a criminal complaint filed Saturday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
After attempting to purchase several machine guns from an undercover ATF agent, the unnamed individual — who said he had been a bodyguard for T.I. since July 2007 — was arrested. He began cooperating with the government and said that he was buying the machine guns and silencers for Harris, a convicted felon, the complaint said.
T.I. ended up winning two awards at Saturday's show.