21 Savage recently surrendered to local authorities last night to face drug and weapons possession charges stemming from an incident in early 2019 when immigration officials arrested him in a joint operation with Georgia authorities.
Last night he was released on bond.
On Feb. 3, 2019, the rapper was apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Following widespread attention to his arrest, he was later released on bond. ICE officials told local news outlets at the time that the rapper had been convicted of felony drug charges from 2014.
His lawyers claim the evidence is false, pointing out that the conviction was eventually overturned. In immigration court, ICE officials withdrew the aggravated felony charge against him.
According to BuzzFeed, a warrant ordering his arrest for allegations of felony drug possession and weapons possession was signed by a county magistrate court judge earlier this month in Dekalb County, where the rapper handed himself in on Thursday evening.
His lawyers allege that he was unaware of the warrant until Thursday when DeKalb County authorities issued it. The warrant alleges that the rapper threw out a bottle containing a liquid that later tested positive for codeine during a traffic stop the night before the ICE arrest and that a firearm was discovered inside the car.
According to Charles Kuck, managing partner of Kuck Baxter Immigration, who represents the rapper, the government had pursued his deportation solely because he came from the United Kingdom when he was seven years old and overstayed a visa.
“The warrant appears to have been sought at the behest of ICE, as the warrant was issued in the eve of an Immigration Court hearing in Mr. Joseph’s deportation proceeding, and is based upon events that transpired on the evening that ICE arrested Mr. Joseph over 2 and one-half years ago,” Kuck said in a statement.
A hearing to determine his immigration status has been scheduled for Nov. 1, and Kuck claims that ICE officials have refused to dismiss the case. The artist falls within the confines of the Biden administration’s rules for ICE prosecutors, which allow them to dismiss certain cases.
Kuck said local police sought a warrant for his DNA about the same time ICE refused to drop the case.
“There can be no doubt that ICE is seeking to cover its own errors in detaining Mr. Jospeh by pushing trumped-up charges against him and seeks to stop him from obtaining lawful permanent residence in the United States,” the statement added.
In recent months, the rapper has been attempting to obtain a green card, granting him permanent residency and a road to citizenship.
His attorneys have claimed that he has never been convicted in state or federal court since his arrest. They said Abraham-Joseph entered the country with a valid visa in 2005 and “lost his legal status” due to no fault of his own. According to his attorneys, the rapper had applied for a U visa in connection with a 2013 shooting. He is also the father of three American citizens.
“We are grateful for the efforts of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office for quickly processing and releasing Mr. Joseph,” Kuck said. “He will continue to fight for his right to seek permanent residence in the United States through the immigration court. We look forward to the day when ICE will play fairly with all those who seek justice within our immigration system.”