Ja Rule was arrested in New York late Sunday evening and charged with criminal possession of a weapon after police stopped a speeding car in which the rapper was a passenger. A handgun was discovered during a subsequent search of the vehicle. He was arraigned Monday afternoon, and his bond was set at $150,000.
According to a New York Police Department spokesperson, the 31-year-old Ja Rule (born Jeffrey Atkins) spent Sunday night in lockup and was scheduled to appear in criminal court Monday evening (July 23) for arraignment. Police said Rule was a passenger in a 2004 blue Maybach, which was stopped on New York's Upper West Side at around 10:35 p.m. for speeding. A routine computer check revealed that the car's registration had been suspended, and during a search of the vehicle, officers discovered a .40-caliber Taurus pistol inside.
Police said the gun's serial number had been scratched off to conceal or prevent the detection of a crime. Rule and two other men, Dennis Cherry, 36, and Mohamed Gamal, 38, were charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. Police would not discuss Rule's relationship to the other two defendants, nor would they reveal which of the men was behind the wheel at the time of the traffic stop. At press time it was unclear in whose name the car was registered. On Monday afternoon, Cherry's bond was set at $150,000 and Gamal's at $20,000.
Ja's collar preceded the arrest of rapper Lil Wayne on the same evening (see "Lil Wayne Arrested On Gun-Possession Charge In New York").
[This story was originally published at 12:27 p.m. ET on 07.23.2007]