CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors in New York City have filed machine gun possession charges against Chicago-based rapper Isaiah “Lil Zay Osama” Dukes, saying he left the firearm in the back seat of a rideshare in the Big Apple last year.
Dukes is currently residing at the DuPage County jail after Oak Brook authorities allegedly found him in a car with another machine gun and a very expensive piece of jewelry last month.
“Dukes brought a machinegun into our district and then dangerously left it in the back of a rideshare,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “This office, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to work diligently to protect our communities from such dangerous weapons.”
Peace’s office said Dukes carried a loaded Glock handgun equipped with a switch, a device that could convert it to automatically fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull.
Dukes was arrested after he left the firearm in the back of a rideshare that transported him from a ritzy Manhattan hotel to a recording studio in Queens, which is in Peace’s jurisdiction, officials said.
Last month, Oak Brook police officers staked out a blue Dodge at the Oak Brook Place shopping mall after receiving a tip that it may be linked to a man involved in the armed robbery of a jewelry store in New York.
Cops followed the vehicle as it left the mall parking lot and watched the driver commit a series of traffic infractions before speeding away. Dukes, 26, and two other Chicago men, 19-year-old Travon Garland and Jeremiah Dawson, 21, were arrested shortly after they exited the car in the 6400 block of West Higgins, DuPage County prosecutors said.
Cops searched the Dodge and found a loaded handgun with an extended magazine and a switch that makes it generate automatic gunfire like a machine gun, officials said. They also allegedly recovered another handgun with a 50-round drum magazine attached.
Dukes was wearing a necklace valued at about $90,000 that officials believe was taken during a robbery in New York, DuPage officials said.
Authorities did not elaborate on the robbery, but sources familiar with the investigation said it might be linked to the armed robbery of Benny Nisanov, also known as “Benny Da Jeweler,” in Manhattan on December 7.
In a report about the robbery, the New York Post called Nisanov an “A-list jeweler whose clients include Nicki Minaj [and] Usher.” The paper said only one piece of jewelry, a chain “valued at” $1 million, was taken in the heist.
Nisanov was with a client at a pop-up shop around 1:30 a.m. on December 7 when two men “carrying firearms and threatening to shoot” broke in, the newspaper reported.
Dukes has not been charged with the robbery. In a stunning coincidence, though, he did appear in an Instagram video on Nisanov’s page just four days before the robbery, posing with jewelry and wearing an impressive necklace.