The case involving an Atlanta rapper arrested on Interstate 20 in Temple last October has been handed over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for investigation.
Temple Police Chief Tim Shaw said his department has turned over all the evidence involving 21-year-old DeAndre Cortez Way to the ATF.
Way, also known as Soulja Boy, is the artist behind the 2007 single “Crank That (Soulja Boy).” He released another album, “The DeAndre Way,” on Nov. 30.
According to a police report, Temple police officer Lat Gray pulled over the black Cadillac Escalade in which Way was a passenger for an equipment violation on I-20 on Oct. 18. After conducting a search of the vehicle Gray found handguns, several thousands of dollars in cash and more than five ounces of marijuana, according to the report.
In a statement last October, Dana Rampy of the Temple Police Department said Way, along with limousine driver Gregory
Latimore, 56, and three other passengers — Dontay Lamar Bates, 27; Camron Wagner, 22; and James Raymond Smith, 35 — were all charged with felony possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Way was bonded out of the Carroll County Jail later that day.
ATF representatives did not confirm their handling of the case, and the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has declined to comment on any claims that the case is being handled federally.
“This office has not charged a defendant named DeAndre Cortez Way, a/k/a Soulja Boy,” said Yvette Comer, a representative of the U.S. District Attorney’s Office last week. “Otherwise, we do not confirm or deny federal investigations in any matters.”
John R. Murphy, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Atlanta Field Division, said that while the case came to the DEA, it did not meet requirements for a federal drug investigation.
“There were some initial discussions about taking it federal, but it didn’t make any federal guidelines,” Murphy said. “As far as the drugs, it was five ounces of marijuana, that wouldn’t even register on a federal level. If you’ve got a rapper that could show legitimate income, that could be contested as being legitimate income, and without a substantial amount of drugs, we didn’t have anything that would rate a federal drug charge on that.”
Shaw said that regardless of where the case ends up, Temple police originally involved in it can still be subpoenaed for their testimony.
Atlanta-based attorney Steve Sadow confirmed that he is representing Way. While he declined to comment on the current status of the case, he did confirm that a large amount of cash, as well as jewelry, was returned to his client in early December.
Read more: Times-Georgian – Police ATF takes rapper s case
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Source: Times-Georgian Carrollton, Georgia
Author: Kelly Quimby
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