Judge modifies rapper Juelz Santana's bail, OK's tour shows
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rapper Juelz Santana can go on tour while he's facing weapons charges, providing he's monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet ... and mom.
A federal judge today modified the bail conditions for Santana, whose real name is LaRon James, to allow him to play the first five shows of his upcoming 15-city nationwide tour.
Among the conditions: that Santana's mother accompanies him on the trips, that he drives instead of flies and that they don't travel with other members of the tour.
In court, Santana told the judge his mother, who wasn't in attendance, had consented to join him on the tour.
Santana will be back in court next month for a review of "how things went" and to discuss whether he can play other shows, U.S. District Judge Michael Hammer said.
"I view it as a reasonable and productive exercise of his time to work and provide for his family," Judge Hammer said. Prosecutors had opposed changing the bail conditions.
Santana has pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Authorities say Newark Liberty International Airport security March 9 found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and nonprescribed oxycodone pills in a carry-on bag containing Santana's identification. He has been free on $500,000 bail and living with his mother and brother.
"I just want to say thank you to the judge," he said as he left the courtroom.
The shows in question are in Hampton, N.H.; Norfolk, Va.; Baltimore, and Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.