RCA Music Group senior vice president Bryan Leach, who has worked with a roster of rappers including Lil Jon and the bilingual Spanish/English artist Pitbull, didn't enter a plea at his arraignment on weapons-possession charges.
Leach was pulled over for driving erratically in Manhattan shortly after midnight, prosecutors said. The .380-caliber, semiautomatic pistol was in the car's central console, the six bullets inside, according to a court complaint.
Hollow-point bullets, which are legal in New York, expand after impact, a feature that can make injuries worse.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Leach has a gun permit. The laws he's charged with violating concern having a loaded gun outside one's home or business, among other things.
His lawyer, James McMillan, declined to comment on the charges but noted Leach's personal, professional and charitable commitments.
Leach, 41, runs his own label within RCA's stable, Polo Grounds Music. Crain's New York Business named him one of its "rising stars" under 40 in 2007 and cited his role in fostering the Southern-influenced rap style known as crunk. Lil Jon, one of crunk's biggest figures, told Crain's that Leach "was the one exec that decided to take a chance on me."
Outside work, Leach funds several after-school programs, McMillan said. A married father of three children under 10, Leach also takes care of his mother, who suffers from terminal cancer, McMillan said.
"He's financially responsible for all of her treatments," McMillan told a court.
A judge set bail at $50,000. McMillan said he expected Leach would post it.
Leach has a prior criminal record, including a 1994 gun-possession conviction, prosecutors said.
RCA Music had no immediate comment on his arrest, first reported by the New York Post.