Instagram Live gun video leads to big trouble for rapper 'Big Homie' in federal gun case
Detroit — Federal agents arrested a Detroit rapper accused of flashing an illegal machine gun during an Instagram Live video and prosecutors say they have linked one of his firearms to seven shootings.
Convicted felon Delmarco Craig, 22, a rapper known as "The Big Homie," is prohibited from possessing firearms but prosecutors say he held a machine gun and other firearms during the Instagram video, including a Glock pistol equipped with a device that converted the semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic machine gun.
Craig was ordered held without bond Tuesday pending trial on charges punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
“A lot of these young rap artists with social media today find themselves involving using guns in videos,” his lawyer, Steven Scharg, said. “That does not necessarily mean they’re thugs or believe in assaults. It’s just part of the façade of the rap industry.”
He said Craig is a well-known rapper who has performed nationwide.
“Every trigger-puller in Detroit should be put on notice. Gun violence in our community will not be tolerated and those who choose to use a firearm to commit any type of violent act will be held to account for their misdeeds,” said James Deir, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office in Detroit, in a statement.
Craig is the latest person from Metro Detroit accused of documenting federal crimes on Instagram. In recent years, the FBI and federal prosecutors waged a broad crackdown on Detroit street gang members who were accused of posting hit lists of rivals on Instagram.
The crackdown, including the prosecution of Seven Mile Bloods members, was chronicled by The Detroit News in the series "Death by Instagram."
The Craig investigation dates to March when agents started monitoring his Instagram account “thebighomie_8.”
On May 22, the account posted a video that shows a shirtless Craig pointing a tan pistol and a loaded, black Glock pistol with an extended magazine at the camera, ATF Special Agent Brett Brandon wrote in an affidavit filed in federal court.
“Craig then pulled the Glock pistol away from the camera and placed the rear of the slide in the center of the camera…revealing what appears to be a Glock conversion device affixed to the rear of the slide,” the agent wrote.
It is illegal to possess or acquire machine guns made after 1986 and the ATF agent said he is not aware of any Glock conversion devices made before that year. It also is illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms.
The gun case was filed five years after Craig was sentenced to probation for illegally possessing a fraudulent financial transaction device.
Three days after the Instagram video, investigators spotted Craig outside a home on the 18000 block of Pennington Drive on Detroit’s northwest side.
On May 26, ATF agents raided the home and seized six firearms and found what appeared to be the modified Glock seen in the Instagram video, the agent wrote.
Two of the seized guns were stolen, according to the ATF agent.
Ballistic tests linked one of the seized firearms to seven shootings since October. That includes a homicide and a double non-fatal shooting in Detroit on May 25, several hours after the Instagram video.
Tests linked a seized rifle to an April 16 shooting at a CVS in Detroit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. During the shooting, surveillance video showed a newer, white Cadillac Escalade with black tires and rims and a black grill.
Investigators found a stolen 2021 white Cadillac Escalade in the backyard of Craig's home during the federal raid, according to prosecutors.
Inside the Escalade, agents found a purple Los Angeles Dodgers hat similar to one Craig is seen wearing in Instagram videos, according to the government.