After a seven-month investigation into the discovery of a dozen malnourished pit bulls and a large weapons cache at DMX's Cave Creek, Arizona, home back in late August, the rapper has been formally indicted on seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and four felony drug possession charges, according to the Maricopa County sheriff's office.
A search warrant for his home was executed just before 3 a.m. on Friday morning (May 9), during which detectives seized even more weapons and drugs, which ultimately led to the filing of an additional drug possession charge. Police removed five pit bull puppies from the rapper's home and took them to a nearby prison, where they will be cared for by female inmates.
According to police, DMX (born Earl Simmons) attempted to barricade himself in his bedroom when police arrived to detain him, but he was eventually talked into coming out and offered no further resistance. He was brought to a nearby jail, where he was booked and processed.
The charges stem from an August 24 raid, during which police removed 12 pit bulls from DMX's home and unearthed a collection of weapons. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told MTV News that the dogs "weren't getting proper food, they weren't getting proper water, and they were tied outside in 115-degree heat." Until now, DMX had not been charged with a single crime related to that incident.
In August, police also discovered the charred remains of at least one dog, after digging up portions of DMX's backyard. Detectives at the time said they'd be investigating the rapper's possible involvement in illegal dogfighting.
"A guy like this DMX character, with all his money and fame, has no excuse for not providing proper care for his animals," Arpaio said in a press release about Friday's arrest. "He has a long criminal history and obviously has little or no respect for the law."
District Attorney Andrew Thomas will be leading the prosecution of DMX, and said his office did not deliberately go after the rapper to send a message to others.
"A person's celebrity status does not preclude this office from bringing charges," he said. "We are handling this case as we would any other indictment of alleged animal cruelty."
Police are also searching the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, exploring a potential fraud scheme involving Simmons. The sheriff's office declined to discuss that matter further.
This is the second time this week DMX has been arrested by authorities in Arizona. On Tuesday, the rapper was arrested by officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety on charges of racing on a highway, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, two counts of endangerment and three counts of criminal speed, all stemming from an incident that took place January 21. Stationary traffic cameras positioned along the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale, Arizona, captured DMX driving a bright yellow 1966 Chevy Nova II (with a large "DMX" decal emblazoned across the windshield) well over the posted 65 mph speed limit, not once but three times.