The 26-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way, appeared in a Van Nuys courtroom and pleaded not guilty Monday to one felony count each of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a firearm in violation of probation and one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.
He is due back in court on Feb. 28, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
The criminal complaint states that Soulja Boy had a Mini Draco AR-IS assault weapon and a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun that was reported stolen from a Huntington Beach police vehicle.
Prosecutors announced earlier this month that they were referring the case to the City Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges. That decision apparently changed, with the District Attorney’s Office instead filing the charges Monday. It was not immediately clear what prompted the change.
Police said officers found the weapons about 7 a.m. Dec. 15 at the rapper’s home in the 3200 block of Dos Palos Drive.
A police spokeswoman said she did not know why officers were at the home, but TMZ.com reported that the rapper allegedly made some online threats involving guns, and someone called police.
According to a city attorney’s spokesman, Way had been arrested in 2014 in Granada Hills and was subsequently convicted of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Way’s two-year probation term was due to end this month, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that Way also had a drugs and weapons- related arrest in 2011 in Georgia.
Way faces more than four years in prison if convicted as charged.
—City News Service
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