Rapper DMX arrested for drugs, animal cruelty
PHOENIX (AP) -- DMX was arrested on drug and animal-cruelty charges following an overnight raid on the rapper’s house Friday, authorities said.
The 37-year-old rapper, whose given name is Earl Simmons, initially tried to barricade himself in his bedroom but emerged when a SWAT team entered his north Phoenix home during the 3 a.m. raid, sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla said.
The arrest and search warrants stemmed from indictments for felony drug possession and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. He made an initial court appearance Friday where bail was sent at $7,500, said his local attorney, Cameron Morgan. Morgan said he expected bail to be posted quickly.
The indictment stems from an August search of the rapper’s home prompted by reports of dogs being abused on his property. Detectives seized 12 pit bull dogs, dug up remains of three others and found marijuana on the rural property.
During Friday’s raid, officials said more drugs were found and weapons seized and additional charges were possible.
Simmons’ New York lawyer, Murray Richman, said he told his client to expect such a raid after his efforts to make DMX available to law enforcement were rebuffed.
“I anticipated it, I explained to my client what was going to happen,” Richman said. He said he believed evidence did not support the charges of animal cruelty, which has been a major focus of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“I think that the animal cruelty is not going to be able to be established,” Richman said, “and I think that this is Sheriff Joe’s moment.”
A statement from Arpaio said someone of DMX means “has no excuse for not providing proper care for his animals.”
Sheriff’s deputies made a series of visits to the rapper’s home in August after receiving reports of neglected pit bulls. They found a caretaker who had been hired to look after the animals.
Richman said DMX was not in Arizona in the weeks leading up to the initial raid.
The rapper has had previous run-ins with the law, including an arrest Tuesday by the Arizona Department of Public Safety after speed-enforcement cameras captured him going 114 mph on a suburban Phoenix freeway.
In June 2006, Scottsdale police cited him for carrying a concealed handgun outside a nightclub.
He also served 70 days in jail in 2005 for violating his parole following a 2004 incident in which he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his sport utility vehicle through a security gate at Kennedy International Airport.
DMX recorded the 1999 hit single “Party Up (Up in Here).” His last album, “Year of the Dog ... Again,” was released last year.
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