50 Cent and members of his entourage were arrested early Tuesday morning when New York police allegedly found two loaded guns in the rapper's SUV. All five occupants of the vehicle were charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
The Queens, New York, rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had been scheduled to perform at a pre-New Year's Eve event at Copacabana, a Manhattan nightclub, and as a condition of appearing had requested the use of a bulletproof vehicle. Promoter Jay Mangan of C.I.N. Productions said that he arranged the use of a car and driver through a private company, for which he paid $1,700. But when the rented black Jeep Cherokee SUV pulled in front of the club just before 2 a.m., Mangan said, police officers in an unmarked taxi cab prevented the rapper from exiting the vehicle, instructing the driver instead to pull around the corner.
A police spokesperson said that the SUV was pulled over on a traffic infraction -- double parking -- at which point officers spotted a .25 caliber handgun on the front passenger floor. A search of the vehicle turned up another gun, a .45 caliber. Police said both weapons were loaded.
New York State law allows that if police find a gun in a car, everyone in the car can be charged with possessing the gun. All five men -- Jackson, a man identified as his driver named Eliezer Cortes, and the three other men with him, Timothy Bonaparte, Christopher Lloyd and Jean Bernard -- were charged and taken into custody. At press time, they had not been released.
50 Cent's lawyer and spokesperson did not return calls for comment.