Snoop Dogg was arrested for a third time in three months Tuesday night when police executed a search warrant on the rapper and his crew as they were leaving a taping of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" near Los Angeles. The search turned up marijuana, a firearm and cocaine in a false compartment in the car that the rapper was traveling in and resulted in Snoop's arrest, charged as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and illegal drugs.
Two members of Snoop's entourage, described as admitted members of the Rolling 20's Crips street gang in a press release from the Burbank Police Department, were also charged. Michael Mingo, 33, was arrested for investigation of possessing burglary tools and Lovell Polk, 36, was arrested for an unidentified outstanding warrant.
The execution of the search warrant on Snoop (real name Calvin Broadus) occurred on the roadside outside the "Tonight Show" studios around 6 p.m. and shut down traffic for hours, according to reports. Authorities have warrants to search Snoop's Diamond Bar, California, home and "his personal vehicle, as well as other vehicles and persons with whom he is associated," according to the police department's press release. The warrants were part of an investigation that stemmed from an October 26 incident at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, where police arrested the rapper for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and for transportation of marijuana (see "Snoop Dogg Arrested For Drug, Gun Possession At Airport").
Snoop's attorney, Donald Etra, told MTV News that the rapper was pulled over as he was leaving the studio where the "The Tonight Show" is taped, and that he made the $60,000 bail and was released a short time after 1 a.m. Wednesday (November 29), nearly seven hours after his arrest.
Etra said Snoop was not aware that police were watching him or were preparing to execute the warrants. "It's too early to discuss what happened and it is my understanding that at this point no charges have been filed by the district attorney," he said. "At this point he is innocent of all charges." An arraignment in the case is set for January 11.
The latest brush with the law came a month after Snoop was arrested at the Burbank airport, where police there found a gun and marijuana in his car; a hearing in that case is scheduled for December 12.
Earlier this month, Snoop surrendered to California police to face charges of possessing a deadly weapon — a collapsible police baton that he tried to carry onto a plane in a laptop case at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, in September (see "Snoop Turns Himself In On Weapon Charge, Promptly Pays Bail"). At the time, The Associated Press reported that Snoop told deputies the baton was a prop for a movie.
Police said that information developed during Tuesday's investigation confirmed that Snoop is a convicted felon — he pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from a 1990 cocaine-possession arrest and a 1993 gun-possession arrest — and an admitted member of the Rolling 20s Crips and that he continues to associate with other Crips members.
Etra said that Snoop is not a member of a gang and added that he had no knowledge of the two men who were arrested along with the rapper. Asked if the vehicle in which the gun and drugs were allegedly found belonged to his client, Etra said he did not know, but that for now, Snoop is committed to "continuing with his life." Given the two previous arrests, when asked if Snoop had considered lying low, Etra declined to discuss any specifics of Tuesday's bust, saying only, "Clearly, he's under the microscope."
[This story was originally published at 8:18 am E.T. on 11.29.2006]