Rapper and singer Nelly was arrested along with a travel companion Saturday morning in Tennessee on felony drug charges after state troopers found methamphetamine, guns and drug paraphernalia in his tour bus, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Nelly, real name Cornell Haynes, was taken into custody after being stopped around 9:20 a.m. Saturday morning on Interstate 40 in Putnam County, a representative for the Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed to The Times. The bus was pulled over for failing to display the proper U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and International Fuel Tax Assn. (IFTA) stickers.
According to a news release, troopers entered the vehicle on probable cause when they approached the vehicle and smelled marijuana.
Upon entering the sleeper area in the back of the bus, they discovered "a plastic bag that contained five colored crystal-type rocks that tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as a small amount of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia," according to the news release.
In addition, the cargo included "approximately 100 small Ziploc bags that are commonly associated with the sale of narcotics and numerous handguns, including a gold-plated 50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, a 45-caliber Tarus pistol, and a 500 magnum Smith and Wesson," the news release said.
One of the other five people on the bus, Brian Jones, 44, is a convicted felon and was also arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a handgun. The pair were taken to the Putnam County Jail, where they were held on separate $10,000 bail bonds. Nelly was released at 5:15 p.m. Central Time. Jones was released shortly thereafter at 5:53 p.m., according to Deputy Austin Ahrens at the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.
A strikingly similar incident occurred in 2012, when the rapper and six other people including Jones were detained in Texas on suspicion of possessing 10 pounds of weed, some heroin and a loaded gun. That time, Jones took responsibility for all three items and was the only one arrested.
Nelly's bus was coming from Wilmington, N.C., where he performed at the North Carolina Azalea Festival on Friday night. His next appearance is scheduled for April 23 at the JQH Arena at Missouri State University in Springfield.