ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage is out of federal immigration custody and is heading back to Atlanta on a private plane after being released on bond, TMZ is reporting.
The 26-year-old rapper, whose given name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested during a targeted immigration operation early on Feb. 3. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said at the time that the British citizen had overstayed his visa and had a felony conviction.
In TMZ's photo, the rapper is smiling and holding his mother tight in front of the plane. She looks thrilled that her son is out of detention.
One of Abraham-Joseph's lawyers, Alex Spiro, told TMZ "That's how we take people home when they win."
In an emailed statement, lawyers Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro said they've been speaking with ICE since his arrest to "clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society."
"21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters—he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together," they said lawyers said in a statement.
After his arrest, ICE said Abraham-Joseph entered the U.S. legally in July 2005, when he was 12, but has remained in the country illegally since his visa expired in July 2006. He was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia, ICE said. He was placed in deportation proceedings in federal immigration court.
Abraham-Joseph's lawyers disputed that. They said last week that Abraham-Joseph came to the U.S. when he was 7 and remained in the country until June 2005, when he went to visit the United Kingdom for a month. He returned on a valid visa on July 22, 2005, they said.
"Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously physically present in the United States for almost 20 years, except for a brief visit abroad," his lawyers said. "Unfortunately, in 2006 Mr. Abraham-Joseph lost his legal status through no fault of his own."
Federal immigration officials have known Abraham-Joseph's status since at least 2017, when he applied for a new visa. That application is pending, his attorneys said.
The attorneys also said ICE was incorrect that Abraham-Joseph has a felony conviction on his record. Fulton County prosecutors said they could not provide information on that case because it is sealed.
According to TMZ, the rapper plans to meet with friends and family in Atlanta when he gets home.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.