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Judge grants bail for rapper Boosie Badazz, release from Fed custody expected

Mississippi LSU Basketball
Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 20, 2023

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Louisiana-based rapper Boosie Badazz, who was arrested in San Diego last month for allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun, is expected to be released from federal custody following a judge's order Tuesday granting him bail.

The 40-year-old rapper, whose real name is Torrence Ivy Hatch Jr., was initially charged by state prosecutors following his May 6 arrest during a traffic stop in the Chollas View neighborhood. Hatch was in San Diego to film a music video and performed later that night at a Gaslamp Quarter nightclub.

According to one of his attorneys, Meghan Blanco, Hatch was prepared to plead guilty in the state's case and was expected to be sentenced to probation. However, the state's case was dismissed and following a court appearance last week, Hatch was arrested on newly filed federal charges.

He has remained in custody since then, as federal prosecutors stated they needed additional time to prepare for a hearing regarding Hatch's detention status.

On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Allison Goddard granted Hatch bail and if released, he will have to follow several conditions, including no travel outside of the United States. Hatch is expected to appear in federal court next week for another hearing in the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandor Callahan argued in court that Hatch presented a danger to the community and was a flight risk, while Blanco argued her client was compliant with all state court conditions and made all court appearances while out of custody.

Callahan said that on May 6, Hatch was seen in an Instagram Live video with a gun tucked into his waistband. Police used a helicopter to spot the SUV Hatch was riding in and stopped it.

The prosecutor said officers found two guns in the SUV: one in a security guard's bag and one on the seat between Hatch and the guard. One of those guns matched the one seen in the Instagram video, he alleged.

He also claimed an officer overheard Hatch threatening the security guard for not taking the blame for the guns. Callahan alleged Hatch told the guard, "You're gonna be in a body bag."

The prosecutor described the incident as "a well-thought-out plan to arm himself and hide the truth from law enforcement."

In audio recordings played in court, Hatch is heard repeatedly telling officers that the guns belonged to his security guard and that he only had the gun in his waistband for the music video he was shooting.

Blanco told the judge the guard brought the guns when he flew to San Diego from Georgia and declared both guns to TSA officials. She also denied Hatch ever threatened the guard and said if such a threat was made, it would have been recorded on one of the officer's body-worn cameras.

She said Hatch did not present a danger to the community, as his prior convictions are nonviolent and are related to marijuana possession and distribution.

Regarding the risk of flight, she said that though he has few ties to Southern California, Hatch has extensive ties to his community, family, and fans, some of whom attended Tuesday's hearing.

The attorney accused San Diego police of employing a disproportionate response -- including over 14 officers and a helicopter -- for a felon in possession of a firearm case and said prosecutors' delay of his detention hearing cost him $160,000 he would have made through performances and other work obligations over the weekend.

"It is outrageous that the government decided to swoop on the day that he was going to enter a plea for probation, pull him in federally, detain him, and then announce an inability to move forward with their detention hearing, knowing what he had scheduled the following weekend," she said.