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‘I don’t do crime’: Rapper Coolio pleads guilty to bringing loaded gun to LAX and gets probation

Rapper Coolio attends Spike TV's Guys Choice 2015 at Sony Pictures Studios on June 6, 2015, in Culver City. Coolio pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony weapons charge.
(Getty Images for Spike TV)

Rap artist Coolio pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony firearm charge after bringing a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag to Los Angeles International Airport.

Coolio, whose legal name is Artis Leon Ivey, had been charged with a felony count of possessing a firearm by a felon with two prior convictions, but it will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he agrees to “stay out of trouble,” according to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz.

The 53-year-old performer was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to perform 45 days of community service. Because Ivey is a convicted felon, he can’t own any firearms, knives, ammunition or weapons of any kind.

Outside of the courtroom, Ivey told reporters the ordeal was a misunderstanding.

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“I do not condone the use of firearms legal or illegal,” he said. “I was very worried.”

Ivey expressed confidence in his ability to follow the rules of his probation.

“I don’t do crime and I am not into anything illegal, so it should be easy,” he said.

Ivey was arrested at 10:50 a.m. on Sept. 17 after the loaded, stolen firearm was found in his backpack when it passed through an X-ray screening machine at a security checkpoint in Terminal 3, according to airport officials.

Police initially detained a 39-year-old man who claimed the bag was his.

But police soon discovered that the bag “contained items belonging to one of the suspect’s traveling companions,” airport officials said. The traveling companion was Ivey. He had already left the screening area and boarded a departing plane, airport officials said.

Ivey was detained and acknowledged ownership of the carry-on bag, officials said.

Ivey, a Las Vegas native, was previously convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle in 2001. In 2009, he was convicted of possessing cocaine after rock cocaine was found in his luggage at LAX, according

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He is best known for his 1995 hit song “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Mostly recently, Ivey appeared on Food Network’s “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” and “Chopped Tournament of Stars.”

Ivey has also been traveling the U.S. and is performing in the “I love the 90s Tour” alongside Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc and Salt N Pepa.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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