A federal judge on Friday allowed Passaic County rapper Juelz Santana to perform at the first five dates of the upcoming “Diplomats’ Dipset Forever Tour” – with some severe restrictions.
Santana, who left a bag with a gun inside it at Newark Airport three months ago, cannot travel by plane, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer ordered.
He must drive to the first five shows, which stretch from New Hampshire to North Carolina -- a total of more than 3,000 miles roundtrip from his Totowa home.
Not only that: The rapper – whose real name is LaRon James – must be accompanied by his mother, cannot travel with any other members of the Dipset tour and must give the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey his travel itinerary before next Thursday’s first show.
And, of course, no drugs or guns.
Any violations of the provisions, the judge said, "may result in the immediate issuance of a warrant for your arrest, a revocation of your release, an order of detention, a forfeiture of any bond, and a prosecution for contempt of court and could result in imprisonment, a fine or both."
Hammer reserved a decision on Santana’s request to live with the mother of his children rather than his own mother, which was a condition of bail. The judge scheduled a July 2 hearing on the request.
The first five stops on the tour:
- June 21—Hampton, N.H. (268 miles);
- June 23—Norfolk, Va. (373 miles);
- June 24—Baltimore, Md. (203 miles);
- June 29—Charlotte, N.C. (639 miles)
- June 30—Greensboro, N.C. (92 miles north of Charlotte).
After that, the Dipset show heads to Texas, California and various other states before a grand finale on Aug. 18 on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
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.
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.
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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