ATLANTA, Oct 19 (Reuters) Grammy Award-winning rapper TI pleaded not guilty today to three charges of illegally possessing silencers and machine guns.
Federal agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested the rapper in Atlanta Saturday, the day he was due to have appeared at the BET hip hop awards. He had been nominated for nine awards, more than any other artist, and won two.
They said the arrest came as he took delivery of three machine guns and two silencers a bodyguard purchased on his behalf.
TI, born Clifford Harris, was convicted of a drug offense in 1998 and is prohibited from owning or buying firearms.
TI's lawyers were seeking on Friday to have him released on a 2.2 million dollar bond and subject to electronic monitoring and home confinement.
TI spent two weeks at No 1 on the US pop chart this summer with his album ''TI vs TIP,'' his second chart-topper within 18 months.
The album sold 468,000 units in its first week, making it one of the biggest debuts of the year and tied for CD of the year at the Oct.
13 awards. He also won best ring tone.
The 27-year-old Atlanta native, who won two Grammy awards in February and was nominated for two others, is also co-chief executive of Grand Hustle Records.
REUTERS RSA RAI2227