Weapons charges have been dropped against two men who were with the rapper Juice WRLD when he suffered a fatal overdose last year.
Juice WRLD’s bodyguard, Henry Dean, of Chatham, and a second man, Christopher Long of Buena Park, California, were each charged with misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed firearm at the airport after the rapper’s entourage was searched when authorities raided his private plane on Dec. 8, 2019, at Midway Airport and found a large amount of marijuana.
A spokesman for Chicago police at the time said both men had valid permits to carry a concealed firearm, but the permit did not allow them to carry guns at the airport.
All charges against Dean, 28, and Long, 36, were dropped by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office at a hearing Nov. 12.
“After a thorough review of the facts, we concluded that deferred prosecution, a court alternative for nonviolent offenses, was the most appropriate resolution for offenders Henry Dean and Christopher Long based on the facts and circumstances of their cases,” a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said Tuesday. “Neither offender has a criminal background and both have completed community service.”
Reached by phone, Dean said he was relieved the case was over, so he can continue to expand his security business, Power Protections Group, which caters to the entertainment industry.
Dean said he grew up with Juice WRLD and the two shared a close bond. Nearly a year after the rapper’s death, Dean said he hopes people continue to discover his friend’s music, which blended hip hop and emo rock styles.
“His music inspired a lot of people,” Dean said. “He was blessed to me.”
Long could not be reached for comment.
Emergency crews responded a private airplane hanger when Juice WRLD, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered an apparent seizure, according to the Chicago Fire Department and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
The rapper was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn but died shortly after arriving, authorities said. An autopsy found Higgins, who had just turned 21, died of an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine.
A friend of Higgins told authorities the rapper ingested several Percocet pills prior to his death, possibly to conceal them from local and federal police officials at Midway, a police source told the Sun-Times last year.