JON GAMBRELL

Associated Press Writer

FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) Police guarded the rural road leading to Forrest City's federal prison complex Tuesday, awaiting the arrival of rapper T.I. to begin serving time on a weapons conviction.

Five officers from nearby Forrest City set up a roadblock along Arkansas 1, about a tenth of a mile away from the federal prison.

Police refused to allow reporters any closer. Police Chief Dwight Duch didn't immediately return a call for comment.

T.I., whose real name is Clifford J. Harris Jr., had a noon deadline to report to the minimum security prison on the complex to begin serving his year and a day sentence. It was unclear whether he would arrive from the airport in nearby Memphis, Tenn., or fly directly to the rural airport in the eastern Arkansas town.

T.I., 28, was arrested after trying to buy unregistered machine guns and silencers from undercover federal agents in 2007.

The self-proclaimed "King of the South" had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge in his three-count indictment. However, he reached a plea deal with prosecutors after spending time on house arrest before his sentencing, speaking before community groups and high schools about the dangers of drugs, violence and guns.

Following his release, T.I. will be on three years' probation. He also must pay a $100,000 fine as part of his sentence.

He performed Sunday in Atlanta and told the crowd he'd "see y'all in 366 days."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.