SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ Snoop Dogg was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon _ an illegal collapsible baton _ at John Wayne International Airport. The Orange County district attorney on Thursday filed a lone count of felony possession of a deadly weapon against the rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus.
If convicted, the 35-year-old rapper could be sentenced to three years in prison. A warrant, with bail set at US$150,000, was issued for his arrest, prosecutors said.
"These charges are bogus. The DA knows that, Snoop knows that. If this goes to trial, we will win," the rapper’s lawyer Donald Etra said Thursday.
On Sept. 27, the entertainer arrived at John Wayne Airport with two bodyguards to catch a flight to San Francisco, investigators said. Security officers scanning his carryon luggage spotted a long object in his computer bag and asked to search inside, where a collapsible baton was found.
Deputy district attorney Andre Manssourian said the weapon is dangerous and illegal. The rapper told deputies at the time of his arrest that the baton was a prop for a movie, sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said. On Oct. 26 in Burbank, the rapper’s airport problems were compounded when he was arrested at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank for investigation of illegal drug and gun possession. He posted $35,000 bail and was ordered to appear in court Dec. 12.
In that incident, airport police officers stopped Broadus at a loading zone for a vehicle code violation. When officers searched the vehicle they found a gun and marijuana, authorities said.
"There was no basis for this arrest," Etra said earlier. "We believe that once this is cleared up, all charges will be dismissed."
The rapper also landed in trouble last spring at London’s Heathrow Airport. In May, he accepted responsibility for using "threatening words or behaviour" in an April incident there. Broadus and five other men were arrested on charges of violent disorder and starting a brawl after some members of the rapper’s party were denied entry to British Airways’ first-class lounge.
British Airways said it has banned Broadus from future travel on the airline.