FILE PHOTO: Rapper 21 Savage poses for a photo before attending the Versace presentation in New York, U.S. December 2, 2018. REUTERS/Allison Joyce
(Reuters) – Rapper 21 Savage was released from custody on bond on Tuesday after he was held for nine days in Georgia on immigration charges, his attorneys said.
The entertainer, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested on Feb. 2 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents over accusations he had overstayed his visa by more than a decade. He came to the United States from Britain in 2005, officials said.
The rapper was granted an expedited hearing after speaking with ICE officials to clarify his legal standing and his bond eligibility, his lawyers, Charles Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro, said in a statement.
“He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country,” they said.
ICE officials and 21 Savage’s representatives were not immediately available for comment.
The rapper, who media reports said is 26, faces deportation proceedings in federal immigration court, an ICE spokesman told Reuters last week.
Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in Georgia in 2014, and was arrested as part of a targeted operation with the cooperation of local law enforcement, an ICE spokesman told Reuters when the rapper was taken into custody.
21 Savage was nominated for two Grammy Awards for the hit “Rockstar,” with Post Malone, including the coveted record of the year category, but was unable to attend the glitzy awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday because he was being held in Georgia. His Facebook page shows that he also has several concerts scheduled in the coming weeks.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; editing by Bill Berkrot