Justin Bieber’s egg-cellent adventure came to a rather abrupt end on Tuesday morning, when nearly a dozen officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department rolled up to his Calabasas, California residence to execute a search warrant in relation to a felony vandalism charge.
Last week, Bieber’s neighbor released camera-phone footage of someone — he alleges it was the singer — trespassing on his property and pelting his house with eggs. The neighbor claims the damage from that egg attack could run as high as $20,000, a total which far exceeds the $400 required for a felony vandalism charge under California law.
And since they were dealing with a felony, L.A. County Sheriffs arrived en masse to Bieber’s house, according to Lt. Dave Thompson, who spoke to reporters following the search.
“It’s a felony crime; I get that it was done with eggs, which makes you feel that it’s a lower-level crime, but a felony crime is a felony crime, no matter how you commit it,” he said, “and this crime rose to the felony section, and a judge signed a search warrant saying we should go get evidence related to the felony crime.”
Thompson estimated there were “almost a dozen” detectives on scene, mostly because they were not sure who — or what — they would encounter when they entered the property.
“In these types of situations we don’t know what we’re going to confront. We don’t know who’s staying at the house, and we don’t know who may be under the influence of anything, and so it’s always better to err on the side of safety,” he said. “And we did contact seven or eight people in the house, so I was thankful we had 12 detectives.”
Bieber was detained in his garage during the search, and Thompson said the singer did not speak with detectives while they were on scene. However, while deputies were serving the warrant, they discovered an amount of a white, powdery substance — reportedly either cocaine or Molly, a form of ecstacy — “in plain view,” and arrested Bieber’s friend Lil Za on felony possession charges. Za (born Xavier Smith) remains in custody, with bail set at $20,000, according to TMZ.
Thompson told reporters that Bieber was “not connected” to the cocaine found in his residence, and did not have a lawyer present while deputies conducted their search — reportedly looking for “video surveillance or other relevant evidence” in the case. No charges have been filed, though Thompson added that Bieber remains a suspect in the incident.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he said. “He was not arrested, nor exonerated at this time.”