Juelz Santana now has a tougher legal hill to climb, as federal authorities have decided to prosecute the rapper on weapon and drug charges.

The Harlem MC has been sitting in jail waiting to hear his fate, since he turned himself in to authorities, after dipping from the Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this month when a handgun and drugs were located in his bag during a security checkpoint. As of last week, local and federal authorities were deciding on who would take over the case.

Friday (March 30), DailyMail reported local authorities in Essex County, N.J. dropped the charges earlier this week making way for the feds to take over. Juelz, born LaRon James, has pleaded not guilty.

The rapper's case is a curious one. On March 9, the Diplomat spitta was attempting to catch a flight when his carry-on bag was flagged during a checkpoint at Terminal C. Instead of sticking around, Juelz reportedly fled the airport and hopped in a cab before he could be detained. He was on the lamb for a couple of days, while authorities tried to locate him. Eventually, he turned himself in on March 12.

It was later revealed the rapper had a loaded .38 caliber pistol in his bag as well as eight oxycodone pills. He has officially been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Juelz will have a much tougher time beating the charges in federal court, which infamously has over a 90 percent conviction rate.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids

More From 93.7 WBLK