TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

DOJ Press Release on T.I. Arrest

10/13/2007 10:48 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias
Northern District of Georgia

CLIFFORD HARRIS, a/k/a "T.I.," ARRESTED ON FEDERAL FIREARMS CHARGES

Arrest Comes After Harris, a Convicted Felon, Accepted Delivery of Machine Guns and Silencers; Additional Guns Found In Harris' Vehicle and House

Atlanta, GA CLIFFORD HARRIS, 27, an entertainer also known as "T.I.," of College Park, Georgia, was arrested in Atlanta at approximately 2:30 p.m. today by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), as he allegedly took possession of three machine guns and two silencers. Three other firearms were found in the vehicle HARRIS was driving. ATF also executed a federal search warrant at HARRIS' house at 4XX Creekview Lane in College Park, finding six additional firearms in his bedroom closet.

United States Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker issued a federal criminal complaint after the arrest and search, charging HARRIS with the felony offenses of (1) possession of unregistered machine guns [and silencers] and (2) possession of firearms by a convicted felon. HARRIS will be held in federal custody over the weekend and then will make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman at the United States Courthouse in Atlanta on Monday, October 15, at a time to be determined by the court. The United States Attorney's Office and ATF will hold a short news conference afterward at a location to be determined.

"Machine guns pose a serious danger to the community, which is why they are so carefully regulated," said David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. "The last place machine guns should be is in the hands of a convicted felon, who cannot legally possess any kind of firearm. This convicted felon allegedly was trying to add several machine guns to an already large and entirely illegal arsenal of guns. Thanks to the good and quick work of ATF, he is now in custody and his firearms have been seized."


"This investigation developed very quickly," said Vanessa McLemore, Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Atlanta Division. "We learned only this Wednesday that the cooperating witness was allegedly buying the machine guns for Harris. The cooperating witness told Harris on Thursday that he had obtained the items, and on Friday Harris made it clear that he wanted them delivered to him today. Harris then agreed to meet and took possession of the machine guns this afternoon. He now faces serious federal charges and a potentially long prison sentence."

According to U.S. Attorney Nahmias and the information filed in court: On October 2, 2007, an employee of a federal firearms licensee advised ATF that an individual was seeking to purchase a machine gun without registering the weapon as required by law. The individual was directed to an ATF agent acting in an undercover capacity, posing as a machine gun dealer. Last Wednesday, October 10, 2007, the individual was arrested by ATF after purchasing three unregistered machine guns and two silencers from the undercover agent in exchange for $2,200 and a pistol. The individual then agreed to cooperate with ATF, including with respect to his purpose for obtaining the firearms.

The cooperating witness (CW) advised the agents that he was purchasing the machine guns on October 10 on behalf of CLIFFORD HARRIS, aka "T.I.," an entertainer for whom the CW had been working as a bodyguard since July 2007. The CW admitted to straw purchasing about nine firearms for HARRIS and about 17 firearms for other persons on previous occasions. Firearm purchase records confirm that the CW has purchased about 25 firearms over the past 18 months. The CW said that HARRIS gave him cash to buy guns on four occasions. HARRIS asked the CW to purchase the firearms for him because HARRIS has a prior felony conviction and therefore cannot lawfully purchase or possess firearms under federal law, while the CW could lawfully obtain guns.

According to the CW, he purchased a Calico 9mm pistol on September 6, 2007, and delivered it to HARRIS at HARRIS' house on Creekview Lane, where he also saw multiple firearms in a safe in the walk-in closet in HARRIS' bedroom. The CW next purchased a Smith & Wesson .500 caliber revolver for HARRIS on September 18, 2007, delivering it to an associate of HARRIS' to give to HARRIS. On or about September 26, 2007, the CW purchased seven more firearms, three rifles and four handguns, using $7,000 in cash provided by HARRIS, and delivered the firearms to HARRIS at the Creekview Lane house.

Finally, last Wednesday, October 10, 2007, HARRIS arranged for the CW to pick up $12,000 in cash from HARRIS's bank, telling the CW to use the funds to purchase machine guns for HARRIS. The CW was arrested later that day when he attempted to purchase three machine guns and two silencers from the undercover ATF agent.

After agreeing to cooperate with ATF, the CW had a series of telephone calls with HARRIS, which were recorded by ATF with the CW's consent. On Thursday, October 11, 2007, the CW called HARRIS to say that he had"everything for you," referring to the machine guns he was supposed to purchase on Harris' behalf; HARRIS replied affirmatively.

On Friday, October 12, 2007, HARRIS called the CW. The CW asked HARRIS when he wanted to take delivery of what the CW had, and HARRIS told the CW that he would take delivery today, Saturday, October 13, 2007.

After the CW left HARRIS a message this morning, shortly after noon HARRIS called the CW to arrange the pick up. At approximately 2:22 p.m., HARRIS met with the CW in a shopping center parking lot in midtown Atlanta to take possession of the firearms. The meeting was recorded by ATF. The CW entered the vehicle that HARRIS was driving and displayed to HARRIS the two silencers and three machine guns that the CW had purchased from the undercover ATF agent on October 10. When the CW explained the function of one silencer, HARRIS said "no flash, no bang." The CW and HARRIS also discussed the selector switch of one of the machine guns, which switches the gun from semi-automatic to fully automatic fire. HARRIS also asked the CW for "change leftover" from the $12,000 that he provided the CW to purchase the firearms.

HARRIS was arrested without incident. A subsequent search of the vehicle located three other firearms, including one loaded gun tucked between the driver's seat where HARRIS had been sitting and the center console.

Shortly after the arrest, ATF agents executed a federal search warrant for HARRIS' house at 429 Creekview Lane in College Park. In a walk-in closet in HARRIS' bedroom, the agents found six more firearms (three rifles, two pistols, and a revolver), including three of the guns that the CW had said he purchased for and delivered to HARRIS in September. Five of the six guns were loaded.

Members of the public are reminded that the criminal complaint only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the ATF, with assistance from the United States Marshals Service, the Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Police Department, and the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Francey Hakes and Todd Alley are prosecuting the case.

COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

MYSPACE.COM/CALIBCKHND    

you know this cat had beef in the rap game right??who knows how deep it may be with him.maybe he didnt wanna get tupac or biggied up.REST IN PEACE MAC DRE....

2462 days ago
17.

Ogre    

Stick a fork in him, because HE IS DONE. The Feds put a rope around his neck and snatched hard.

2462 days ago
18.

outsidedabox    

you know its not about anyone individual making an entire race look bad. last time i checked no one nominated any black celebrity as a spokesman for blacks. so let's keep this in perspective. maybe the guy had a thing for guns or worse a need for guns. just because he has "guards" doesn't mean the guy is fully protected. history dictates that many individuals have been betrayed by the people meant to protect them. so let the facts come out . so as we sit here and say," darn i wish PAC and Biggie were still around ". or they died to soon. i guess we won't say the same about this guy. atleast we haven't read about him being killed. ican go on for hours but i will stop...any takers out there?

2462 days ago
19.

toya    

Listen Clif...........success comes with a price.Ignorance will not pay the bill.

2462 days ago
20.

It's whateva    

It's like this, I'm from the boot down south, Lately the only thing going on in the news is black folk getting caught up for something. I see it like this the man has been targeting our black folks for a long time, and what it is, is that we have been doing this forever. What the white man is trying to do is, wait until you get big w/what you doing and then they come and get you. Mike Vick- how long do you think they knew what was going on, they just waited on the right moment so they could take what he had, Jones- the track star, how long, T.I.- how long. Jena six-now that what urks the hell out of me, let the boy go all the white boy got was his ass whipped, how many people have taken an ass whippin, now they are holding him on probation violation. T.I. keep yo head up boy and do yo thug thizzle b/c you still gon' be my boy, I love you for life, and next time T.I. do it yoself that way you ain't got to worry about no ratting. If you do it by yoself, it's yo word aganist theirs, everybody now days is about themselves. Yeah you may not understand my language or the way I speak, but recognize one thing, "you ain't from the dirty south, and I'm just keeping it real. Black people what we need to do is stop pulling one another down, like the old folks say down here, black people are like crawfish in a bucket, when one makes it to the top, another one will come and pull him right back in. If we would just let'em make it to the top, so everybody else can get to the top too. Look how white people have each others back, regardless, black people let's stick together and continue to keep our head up b/c we are somebody, and regardless of what the man say, who made america what it is today (us) you damn right. We help make the world what it is today. The man don't like us, but what they fail to realize is who brought us here? If you wouldn't been so lazy, and would have did your own work, we wouldn't be here. One thing I learned in life is that everything happens for a reason. Peace: EVERYBODY KEEP YA HEAD UP REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, THERE IS HOPE FOR THE BLACK RACE, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE MAN TRIES TO DO OR SAY.

2462 days ago
21.

TBMIA    

I guess you don't understand the system yet, even tho you have been in it.(arrested). Why do you think the call it the Dirty South;because it is Dirty. A Blackman with money is one of the best targets in America to take down.The racist system is trying to take down any race(person of color) down. So the way I see it you played right into their hand. You should have used your head instead of your hands. Hope for your families sake you make it thru this hrudle. Peace my Brother.

2462 days ago
22.

rebel    

I STILL WISH I COLUD AT LEST OWN ONE..!!!

2462 days ago
23.

Abrams    

I am sick of people thinking that EVERYTHING is about race. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe he broke the law and that is why they arrested him? They did not arrest him because of the color of his skin. What he did was illegal and that is why T.I. got arrested. That is why Michael Vick got arrested. That is why the Jena 6 got arrested. Stop blaming everything on race. It's just a way to get out of everything. The law applies to everyone whether you are purple, pink, black, white, yellow or brown. So if the white man goes after the black man everytime, then someone explain to me how OJ Simpson go off on 2 murder charges?? It's time for everyone to grow up and accept responsibility for actions they choose to take part in. People need to stop blaming others for their problems.

2462 days ago
24.

Menn    

SOMETHING IS FLAKY ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING. #1 THE SO-CALLED BODYGUARD CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN WITH TIP SINCE JULY 2007 BUT THE POLICE SAY THEY HAVE RECORD OF HIM PURCHASING OVER 25 FIREARMS OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS. #2 WHY DID THEY WAIT UNTIL THE NIGHT OF THE AWARDS SHOW TO ISSUE THE WARRANT #3 HOW IS IT THAT THE MEDIA WAS ABLE TO GET INFORMATION ON THE SEARCH WARRANT AS IT WAS BEING SERVED. THIS ALL SEEMS VERY WELL THOUGHT OUT.

DAMN!

2461 days ago
25.

hahahaha    

Trash always sinks to the bottom, like that skinny ass idiot could even fire an automatic weapon, he would be shooting at birds after the second round.

2461 days ago
26.

hahahaha    

If you want the Atlanta police to leave black celebrities alone tell the black celebrities to stop breaking the law.

2461 days ago
27.

sheniqua    

nobody would have never new what was goin on in the first place if it wasnt for the snitch if u cant stand da heat stay the f***k out the kitchen keep your friends close enemies closer

2461 days ago
28.

Meantilt    

I can't believe this dude.. Is this what he means by taking Lemons and making lemonade. Tip Harris; why you need all them guns for , was he planning some terrorist act or what... I cannot believe this guy was so stupid buying guns throuugh his body guard, there should have been a number of middle men btw him and the body guard. You are a star for Godsake . Now he is going to sit in the cell thinking of how great he could have been.
Makes me sick

2461 days ago
29.

NAT    

I bet there are a lot of people picking up machine guns right now. Be careful what you put in your lyrics...hip hop police are listening. "this an american gangster right here in ya face" Don' t make yourself such an easy target. And by the way...it is officially us against them.

2461 days ago
30.

NAT    

Do not buy the bootleg "FREE T.I. or FREE TIP! shirts. The official tee will hit stores on next monday! The tee's out now are chinese knock offs! (lyao?). CONSPIRACY? You know what it issssssz!

2461 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web