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Lil Wayne booked on drug charges in Ariz

Lil Wayne was arrested on three felony drug charges Wednesday after federal agents said they found illegal drugs, including cocaine, on his charter bus at a checkpoint in southwestern Arizona. The rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., spent the day at the Yuma County jail on the state drug charges before being released, Capt. Eben Bratcher said.

After posting more than $10,000 bond, the rapper signed autographs for fans outside a bondsman’s office.

James Tilson, a local lawyer retained by Carter, said that his client was not formally charged and that his next court date was scheduled for Jan. 25.

“We will find out by Jan. 25 whether or not the (Yuma) county attorney will file charges or not,” Tilson said. “He is looking forward to his day in court. That’s all I can say right now.”

The 25-year-old faces charges of possession of dangerous drugs, narcotics and drug paraphernalia.

Carter’s bus was stopped about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a Border Patrol checkpoint near Dateland, Ariz., 78 miles east of Yuma, Bratcher said.

A Border Patrol dog alerted agents to the presence of illegal drugs on the bus, said Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Ramona Sanchez. Among what a search yielded: nearly 4 ounces of marijuana and just over an ounce of cocaine, as well as drug paraphernalia. DEA agents then arrested Carter, who was traveling with 11 others.

Officials also found a .40-caliber pistol registered to Carter, who has a concealed weapons permit in Florida. Authorities are looking into whether he violated any weapons laws in Arizona.

Two other men were arrested with him; they each face a charge of possession of marijuana.

In October, Carter and several other rappers were named in a federal lawsuit filed by music publishing companies, accusing them of sampling other artists’ songs without paying licensing fees.

Rapper Birdman and Lil Wayne won a viewers’ choice award for their song “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” at Black Entertainment Television’s 2007 Hip-Hop Awards.

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