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Drug arrest made during search of Justin Bieber's home

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and JusticeJustin Bieber

Detectives searching Justin Bieber's Calabasas mansion Tuesday for evidence he allegedly tossed eggs at a neighbor's home arrested one of the singer's associates on suspicion of felony drug possession.

The arrest came as a dozen L.A. County sheriff's investigators served a felony search warrant at the home, looking for evidence that might connect the 19-year-old singer to the egging. Bieber's next-door neighbor had called detectives last Thursday to report his house had sustained $20,000 in damage from the incident. The amount could make it a felony vandalism case.

Investigators took Xavier Dominique Smith, 20, into custody.

Lt. Dave Thompson originally stated that cocaine was found "in plain view of the deputies," but sheriff's officials later said the drugs needed to be tested. Rather than cocaine, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said, the substance was more likely Ecstasy or the synthetic drug Molly.

Bieber "was not connected to the [drugs] other than the gentleman was staying at his residence."

Detectives served the search warrant on Bieber's home in the 25000 block of Prado Del Grandioso at 8 a.m. Tuesday, looking for "video surveillance or other relevant evidence" in the egging case, said sheriff's Capt. Michael Parker.

The incident was initially reported as a misdemeanor but the estimated cost in damage is well above the $400 needed to qualify as a felony, officials said.

"The felony comes from the dollar amount of the damage," Thompson said. "This residence sustained a great amount of damage that easily achieved the amount. I get that the eggs don't seem that significant, but it does rise to the level of a felony."

During Tuesday's search, detectives briefly detained eight people, including Bieber, inside. Thompson said the size of the search team — a dozen strong — was due to the unpredictability of what detectives might find.

"Mr. Bieber is cooperative in most cases. However, we don't know who's staying at the house and we don't know who may be under the influence of anything," Thompson said.

Sheriff's officials said Bieber remains a suspect in the egging.

"The investigation is ongoing," Thompson said. "He was not arrested, nor exonerated, at this time."

The egging incident marks the latest clash between the pop star and his neighbors. During the last couple of years, Bieber has been accused by nearby residents of throwing loud parties, speeding in his Ferrari and spitting on a neighbor. Prosecutors have declined to charge Bieber with any crime.

Legal experts said it would be rare to prosecute an egging as a felony.

"I never heard of home egging being treated as a felony. I know of cases involving the egging of moving cars," said Dmitry Gorin, a defense attorney and former prosecutor. "Neighborhood disputes don't usually escalate to this level. But in a neighborhood of celebrity Hollywood, the unusual becomes the usual."

richard.winton@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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