Rapper 42 Dugg sprung from prison in federal gun case

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Up-and-coming Detroit rapper 42 Dugg has been released from federal custody after his lawyer claimed jailing the Detroit man during the coronavirus outbreak was "unconscionable."

The rapper, real name Dion Hayes, was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond and barred from using drugs and possessing firearms and ammunition, according to a federal court filing Friday.

Dion Hayes, aka 42 Dugg

His release follows a tense tug-of-war between federal prosecutors and defense lawyers after the rapper was arrested and indicted on a federal gun crime. 

“I’m glad justice was served,” defense lawyer Steven Scharg said Friday.

Hayes, 25, is a popular Detroit rapper who performs on the Lil Baby track "Grace," which is No. 98 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He was scheduled to perform Sunday at the "March Badness" concert at Little Caesars Arena before the show was postponed due to the virus outbreak.

Prosecutors succeeded in keeping him incarcerated last week by appealing a magistrate judge's order that Hayes be released on a $10,000 unsecured bond and a GPS tether. Hayes was transferred to Atlanta to face the gun charge, but the order filed Friday freed him from custody.

Prosecutors argued Hayes was dangerous and a flight risk, citing photographs of semi-automatic firearms, marijuana and ammunition seized from Hayes' cell phone.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand said the photographs were not clear and convincing evidence the rapper was dangerous.

Defense lawyers said Hayes has lived a crime-free life since being released from prison three years ago — punishment for convictions for carjacking and felony firearms possession.

The gun case dates to November when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents received an anonymous tip that Hayes fired a weapon inside Stoddard's Range and Guns in Atlanta.

Dion Hayes, left, fires a pistol inside the Atlanta gun range, prosecutors said.

Investigators reviewed video surveillance and documents from the gun range and learned Hayes and two others visited the gun range Nov. 8, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

The surveillance video showed Hayes possessing, loading and firing a 9 mm Glock pistol, according to the criminal complaint.


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