Rapper 42 Dugg Could Face Years in Prison After Guilty Plea

Detroit rapper 42 Dugg may have earned himself up to five more years in prison after failing to show up for his previously agreed-upon prison sentence. The 28-year-old rapper was sentenced to six months in a West Virginia prison camp for illegal possession of a firearm, and according to a report by The Detroit News, he pleaded guilty this week to evading that sentence. Now, the judge has the opportunity to extend his prison sentence which was previously set at six months.

Dion Hayes, a.k.a. 42 Dugg, is at the mercy of U.S. District Judge William Ray II at a federal court in Atlanta, Georgia. A plea agreement filed last month recommends Hayes should serve six months in prison, then attend a 30-day inpatient drug treatment program followed by a 30-day outpatient program. However, he could legally face up to five years in prison as well as $250,000 in fines. Hayes is due back in court for sentencing on May 10.

Hayes' notoriety in the music industry has skyrocketed in recent years, while his legal issues have been more or less continuous since 2010. He had previously been in prison from 2010 to 2017 for carjacking and felony firearms possession. During his interlude of freedom after that, Hayes launched a lucrative rap career with the help of rappers Yo Gotti and Lil Baby. He is best known to most for featuring on Lil Baby's songs "We Paid" and "Grace," though he also released his own mixtape in 2021 titled Free Dem Boyz. Last year, he followed that up with Last Ones Left.

Hayes' current legal issues started in November of 2019 when he was caught visiting a gun range in spite of the fact that he is a convicted felon. An anonymous tipster reportedly contacted the ATF and the bureau acquired surveillance footage from the firing range, showing Hayes handling a pistol for recreational target practice. He was arrested in March of 2020 and released on bond.

Hayes was initially sentenced to probation and fines for that incident, but the legal process was complicated as he repeatedly failed court-ordered drug tests. His sentence was eventually escalated to six months in federal prison, but he failed to present himself for that term in April of 2022. This led to a sensational manhunt that made waves on social media, where Hayes continued to post actively.

The rapper was finally caught last spring and has reportedly been in an Atlanta prison for nearly a year now. He is being held in a low-security federal penitentiary in Georgia, and it's unclear if he will be sentenced to that facility in the long term.