urrounded by record executives and 35 of his relatives, rapper T.I. entered a not guilty plea Friday to gun charges, but a federal judge said he won't rule until next week on whether T.I. can remain free on a bail that could total $2 million in cash.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, was arrested Saturday on weapons charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman said he remained troubled about the behavior of T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris.
Despite an offer by Harris' attorneys to have him placed under 24-hour monitoring with drug exams during the bail period, Baverman said, "I haven't heard enough. This is an extremely gifted and talented musician. He has been exceedingly generous and has reached out to the community with great generosity. At the same time and on the same day he was supposed to receive one of the most important awards in his career, he shows up armed to buy machine guns.
"I'm concerned about that dichotomy."
Baverman said he is concerned that Harris might be a flight risk. He said he wants to look into the monitoring service recommended by the defense attorney, and will ask for $2 million in cash for the bail bond, and for Harris to pledge the equity in both his houses, valued at $1.5 million.
Baverman said he will rule on whether he will grant bail for Harris on October 26.
Harris, 27, was arrested in a federal sting Saturday just hours before he was scheduled to perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards. His bodyguard-turned-informant delivered three machine guns and two silencers to the rapper, according to a Justice Department statement.
At the hearing, Harris' attorneys attempted to show that he was not a flight risk by asking Harris' relatives to stand. Around 35 people stood.
Rapper T.I. arrested on machine gun charges, misses BET show
In addition, six record executives were present, including Lyor Cohen, chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music for the Warner Music Group, as well as the president of Atlantic Records. The record executives spoke in support of Harris' bail application and pledged up to $2.2 million in signature bonds on Harris' behalf. The signature bonds would guarantee Harris would show up for trial or the executives would forfeit the $2.2 million.
After the hearing Harris' attorney, Steve Sadow, said he had no quarrel with the judge's deliberations "because he's a man who is taking his job very seriously and there are positions on both sides that are conflicting. So he's doing what he's supposed to do and that's all we can ask."
He added, "I think our hurdle in defending this case is the nature of the way it's been presented. His (Harris') criminal history has posed a problem, as the court has recognized, but he also has a lot of good things that he's done, which the judge recognized as well."
Sadow said Harris is not upset at not gaining his release.
"He would like to gain his release if we can meet the conditions that the court imposes, and then we'll deal with the defense once we've gotten him out. He's not upset at all. He understands the process and respects what the court is doing."
Authorities said that Harris provided the bodyguard $12,000 to buy the weapons, which Harris is not allowed to own because he is a convicted felon.
Court *** said Harris was convicted on felony drug charges in 1998, and a federal affidavit said he has been arrested on gun charges in the past.