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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 5, 2018

Memphis Rapper Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing a Firearm in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK—Ricky Hampton, the rapper who goes by the stage name “Finese2Tymes” and has been performing at concerts when violence has broken out multiple times, pleaded guilty in federal court today to a gun possession charge stemming from an incident following a concert in Forrest City.

Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Jeff Reed, Resident Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF), announced Hampton’s plea, which took place before United States District Court Judge J. Leon Holmes. Hampton pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The plea agreement called for enhancements because the firearm in question was capable of accepting a high-capacity magazine, and Hampton possessed the firearm in connection with another felony offense.

Hampton was originally arrested on a federal complaint on July 3, 2017. A grand jury then indicted him on July 6, 2017. Kentrell Gwynn, Hampton’s bodyguard, was added as a co-defendant in a superseding indictment on August 3, 2017. Hampton pleaded guilty to the superseding indictment on Monday and will be sentenced by Judge Holmes at a later date.

“Violence has followed this individual, and it is time for that to end,” Hiland said. “The message is clear—if you are a felon in possession a firearm, and especially if you use that firearm to commit other crimes, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The investigation into Hampton showed that on June 24, into the early morning hours of June 25, 2017, Hampton performed at Club Envy in Forrest City. After the concert, a woman in the parking lot stated that she drove to the front of Club Envy at about 2:45 a.m. on June 25 and found her route blocked. She then saw Hampton entering the passenger side of a car as he began to scream at her to move her car. As the woman moved her car in reverse, Hampton aimed a large gun at her and yelled. The gun was still aimed at the woman when she turned her car around. As the woman sped off, her back window was shattered and she was grazed by a bullet on the side of her neck.

Witnesses in the Club Envy parking lot took photographs and videos of this incident and posted them to Facebook. In these photographs Hampton can be seen holding and pointing an “AK-style” pistol, which had a AK-47 rifle barrel, with a pistol grip and no shoulder stock. This type of firearm is commonly referred to as a “Draco.”

On July 1, 2017, Hampton performed at Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock when a mass shooting occurred and 25 people were injured. The next day, ATF and United States Marshals arrested Hampton at the Side Affects Club in Birmingham, Alabama, following a concert. After the arrest, agents recovered a Century Arms “AK-style” pistol from the vehicle in which Hampton was traveling. This pistol was purchased by Gwynn on May 26, 2017. ATF agents interviewed Hampton, who told them that he “upped the Draco,” referring to raising and pointing the “AK-style” pistol in Forrest City.

The maximum punishment Hampton faces for being a felon in possession of a firearm is not more than 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release.

The primary investigation was conducted by the ATF, with assistance from the U.S. Marshal Service and the Forrest City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Stephanie Mazzanti and Chris Givens are prosecuting the case.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available on-line at

http://www.justice.gov/edar

Twitter:
@EDARNEWS

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 5, 2018