( Reuter )- Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. pleaded guilty in a federal court on Thursday to three charges of illegally possessing weapons, reversing his earlier plea of innocent, local media said.
The case began last October when agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested him in a sting operation as he took delivery of three machine guns and two silencers that a bodyguard had bought on his behalf.
T.I., 27, was convicted of a drug offense in 1998 and is barred from owning or buying firearms.
Two week after his arrest, the rapper pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $3 million bond and ordered to remain at home and submit to strict surveillance.
His arrest in Atlanta attracted wide publicity in part because it came on the day of the BET Hip Hop Awards, at which he was due to have played a starring role.
T.I. could face up to 10 years in jail for each charge, the U.S. Attorney's Office said at the time of his arrest. He will be sentenced at a later date.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper said he would likely face only one year in prison under a deal between his attorneys and federal prosecutors and would do extensive community service.
T.I., born Clifford Harris, won two Grammies last year. He starred in the 2006 film "ATL" and appeared with Denzel Washington in the 2007 movie "American Gangster."