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Judge Orders Rapper Who Left Gun In Bag At Newark Airport Remain Detained

Juelz Santana
Juelz Santana Photo Credit: Wikipedia

A federal magistrate judge on Monday ordered that Passaic County rapper Juelz Santana remain in custody for leaving a bag with a gun inside it at Newark Airport earlier this month.


UPDATE: A federal grand jury has indicted Passaic County rapper Juelz Santana on charges of bringing a bag with a gun inside into Newark Airport earlier this year.


U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark 3rd wasn't satisfied with the bond package presented by the lawyer for Santana -- whose real name is LaRon James -- and said to try again.

Santana, 36, of Totowa, left two bags and his ID behind when he left the Terminal C security checkpoint at Newark Airport and ducked out an exit on March 9, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Inside one of the bags TSA agents found a two-shot .38-caliber Derringer pistol, he said.

As they agents began doing through his bag, Santana ran from the airport and jumped into a cab.

Authorities went to his Totowa home looking for Santana, but he wasn't there, a law enforcement source told Daily Voice.

Arrangements were then made for a surrender that didn't happen until March 12.

Santana faces both state and federal charges -- one of which must be dismissed before the other can proceed with prosecution.

Santana could face prison time because of a prior felony conviction out of Bergen County, which prohibits him from carrying a firearm.

A judge in Hackensack gave Santana two years probation in 2013 after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges for what prosecutors said were assaults on both his then-girlfriend, Kim ‘Bella’ Vanderhee, and a good Samaritan who came to her aid at an Englewood housing development in July 2011.

Santana and Vanderhee reportedly split last fall.

SEE: Rapper Juelz Santana Gets Probation In Assault On Englewood Good Samaritan

Six years ago, Santana was charged in connection with the discovery of two fully-loaded 9mm handguns, several boxes of ammunition and 17 dime bags of pot during a SWAT team raid of what was then his “Santana’s World” studios on South Washington Avenue in Bergenfield.

Santana -- who once lived in Teaneck -- wasn’t there at the time, but investigators arrested freestyle rapper Toby M. “Hynief” Raynor, who co-founded both The Diplomats (aka: The Dipsets) and The Skull Gang with him. Santana later turned himself in.

He was free on bail when police in Teaneck arrested him four months later for driving while on the suspended list.

Then came the assault charges.

Santana’s first album, “From Me to U” was released on Russell Simmons’ popular Def Jam label in 2003. His follow-up, “What the Game’s Been Missing!” spawned a Top 10 single: “There It Go (The Whistle Song).”

The son of an African-American mother and Dominican father, he reportedly began rapping at 5 — and at 12, was signed to his first record deal as part of the duo Draft Pick.

In August 2008, Dipset founder Cam’ron told an interviewer that he had sold Santana’s contract to Def Jam Records for $2 million, opening an already-existing rift between the two.

Santana had been working on his third album, “Born to Lose, Built to Win,” on his own Skull Gang label, at the Bergenfield studios. He moved his operations there after running a clothing and music store on Amsterdam Avenue between 150th and 151st Streets in the Bronx.

A few singles from the album appeared, including “Back to the Crib,” featuring Chris Brown.

Members of the Harlem-based Skull Gang (Street Kids United by Loyalty & Loot) have worked with, among others, rap legend Jim Jones, Lil Wayne and Mike Epps. 

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