Waka Flocka Flame Cleared of Gun Charges
The Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame was arrested in October 2014 for a variety of charges, including carrying a concealed weapon. The arrest occurred at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A four-day trial was conducted early this month and at the conclusion of the trial Waka Flocka Flame, or Juaquin James Malphurs, was acquitted of all charges that had been filed against him.
According to the rapper’s attorney, the jury found Malphurs not guilty of carrying a firearm in a government facility and carrying a concealed weapon. It took the jury only 30 minutes to deliberate. The trial followed an arrest just over two years ago.
In October 2014, Malphurs was stopped and found to be carrying a handgun. He told officials at the airport that the bag was not his. Instead, he said, the bag belonged to his then fiancee, now wife, and he had grabbed the bag by mistake in his rush to get to the airport. His attorney was able to show evidence in the way of a picture that depicted Malphurs’ and his fiancee with identical backpacks.
When the trial started, Malphurs was facing five counts and a maximum of five years of incarceration. By the time the trial came to a close, he was only facing two counts and a maximum two-year sentence.
Carrying Your Firearm in a Georgia Airport
If you live in Georgia, it is important that you are aware of the gun laws as they pertain to airports, especially if you have a carry permit. The laws in Georgia were changed in 2015 and, if you don’t fly or have reason to frequent an airport often, you may not be aware.
In the state of Georgia, people with carry permits are legally allowed to take their guns through any public area of the airport. That changes, however, once you hit a federal checkpoint, i.e., the security gate. If you are found to have a weapon in your carry-on bag once you have made it to the security gate, you could be arrested. The penalty for conviction is up to a year in jail and a hefty $100,000 fine.
In 2015, TSA agents at Hartsfield-Jackson found 113 guns. Travelers with permits were the holders of 68 of those weapons, and 45 more were found in the bags of people who did not have a carry permit. In the first three months of 2016, TSA agents had already discovered 48 weapons in bags of persons in the airport. The average number of guns found each month at the airport in 2015 and 2016 was nine.
If you are arrested for a gun crime in Atlanta, either in or out of the airport, you could be facing serious consequences if convicted. An experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for your rights is imperative. Call Hawkins Spizman Fortas today for a free consultation and learn more about your rights. We will review the details of your arrest and charges and help you determine your best options.