Coolio Charged With Carrying Gun And Pot In His Car

L.A. County deputy says rapper's sports utility vehicle was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Rapper Coolio was arrested Tuesday evening in a Los Angeles suburb and

charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana after

an officer spotted him driving on the wrong side of the road.

Coolio, 35 (born Artis Leon Ivey), was arrested in Lawndale, Calif., after

an L.A. County Sheriff's Office deputy allegedly discovered a

semiautomatic pistol, ammunition and a small bag of marijuana in the

hip-hop star's sports utility vehicle. It also turns out that Coolio was

driving with an expired driver's license, police said.

The rapper was released several hours after his arrest. An Oct. 21 hearing

in South Bay Court has been scheduled for Coolio to face the misdemeanor

charges.

Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Jones pulled the rapper over on Florwood Avenue in

Lawndale after he allegedly was spotted driving on the wrong side of the

road at about 5 p.m., according to a police report of the incident. The

deputy told Coolio that he would have the rapper's car towed, since Coolio

had no license to drive it, according to the report.

When asked if he had any weapons in the vehicle, Coolio allegedly told the

deputy that there was a pistol in the door. The deputy allegedly found a

semiautomatic pistol and a magazine containing 9 mm rounds in a pouch. A

small bag of marijuana also was found in the vehicle, police said.

If convicted on the marijuana and concealed-weapon charges, Coolio could

face up to a year in county jail, in addition to a fine for vehicle-code

violations.

The rapper was placed under arrest and taken to Lennox Station for booking.

A friend of the rapper, who had arrived at the location of the traffic stop,

drove the car from the scene, police said.

Coolio established himself with his 1994 debut LP, Like A Thief,

featuring hits such as

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Coolio/Fantastic_Voyage.ram">"Fantastic

Voyage" (RealAudio excerpt), and with the 1995

triple-platinum (3 million copies sold) follow-up, Gangsta's

Paradise, which included the chart-topping title track and

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Coolio/1-2-3-4.ram">"1-2-3-4 (Sumpin'

New)" (RealAudio excerpt).

This is the second time during the past year that the rapper has had a

run-in with the law.

A November altercation in a Stuttgart, Germany, clothing store led to Coolio

being charged with assault and abetting theft. In that incident, he

allegedly elbowed a store manager in the stomach when she tried to prevent

the rapper and six of his crew members from exiting her clothing store.

Repeated calls to Coolio's Tommy Boy label were not returned by press time.