Rapper T.I. has been arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, after attempting to purchase an arsenal of weapons from an undercover police officer.
The Bring 'Em Out star - real name Clifford Harris, Jr. - was taken into custody on Saturday (13Oct07) after he sent his bodyguard to buy three machine guns and two silencers from the cop, posing as an arms dealer.
The unnamed bodyguard was acting as a co-operating witness to the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), when he was instructed by Harris to make the cash deal for the guns, worth $21,000 (GBP10,500).
The employee claims he has purchased a total of nine guns for the rapper himself and a further 17 firearms for others on the star's behalf since he was hired in July (07).
A police raid of Harris' home in College Park turned up another three machine guns and six other firearms hidden in a closet.
The 27-year-old has been charged with felony possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
Vanessa MCLemore, Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Atlanta Division, tells AllHipHop.com, "This investigation developed very quickly. We learned only this Wednesday that the co-operating witness was allegedly buying the machine guns for Harris. The co-operating witness told Harris on Thursday that he had obtained the items, and on Friday Harris made it clear that he wanted them delivered to him today.
"Harris then agreed to meet and took possession of the machine guns this afternoon. He now faces serious federal charges and a potentially long prison sentence."
The arrest took place hours before T.I. was due to attend the B.E.T. Hip-Hop Awards, where he was scheduled to perform.
The rapper - who has previous convictions for drug dealing, gun possession and probation violations - will be held in federal custody until Monday (15Oct07), when he will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman at the United States Courthouse in his hometown of Atlanta.