T.I. Challenges Evidence in Weapons Case

By HARRY R. WEBER
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 20, 2007; 7:14 PM

ATLANTA -- T.I. says evidence collected against him and statements he made to authorities in a federal weapons case were illegally obtained.

Attorneys for the 27-year-old rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, filed motions Monday in U.S. District Court seeking to suppress evidence seized from his vehicle and statements he made on the day of his Oct. 13 arrest.

The attorneys allege the vehicle was searched without a warrant, consent or probable cause. They also allege that Harris' detention might not have been proper, statements he made to authorities may not have been voluntary, and agents may have failed to honor his rights.

The motions didn't elaborate on the basis for the legal challenges, but said more details would be filed later.

There was no immediate ruling by a judge. A spokesman for federal prosecutors, Patrick Crosby, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that his office would respond in court.

Authorities say Harris tried to buy unregistered machine guns and silencers in midtown Atlanta about an hour before a scheduled performance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. They say he already had three guns in his car, including one that was loaded.

Harris faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each weapons charge.

He is free on bond, but is under house arrest. A pretrial conference was scheduled Wednesday.

The rapper had asked to host a Thanksgiving Day gathering at the home where he's staying, but the plan was scrapped after the government opposed it. His bond conditions require court approval of visitors.

A charity event he is sponsoring to give turkey dinners to the needy will go on Thursday, but Harris won't be there, according to one of his record labels.


© 2007 The Associated Press