Published May 09, 2008
PHOENIX – Only days after an arrest for speeding, rapper DMX was nabbed on animal cruelty and drug charges following a 7-month-long investigation.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was arrested at 3 a.m. Friday at his home in Cave Creek, Ariz., on seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and four counts of felony drug possession.
Several weapons and drugs were seized in the raid, during which Simmons, 37, tried to barricade himself in his bedroom. Eventually, he came out as a SWAT team entered and was taken into custody without further incident.
Detectives found five pit-bull-mix puppies at the rapper's home.
"We are handling this case as we would any other incident of alleged animal cruelty," said County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
The indictment stems from an August search of the rapper's home prompted by reports of dogs being abused on his property.
His attorney, Murray Richman, says he told his client to expect such a raid after his efforts to make DMX available to law enforcement were rebuffed. Richman says the animal cruelty charges are not supported by the evidence.
Sheriff's deputies were also delivering a search warrant Friday at the Mayo Clinic in relation to a possible fraud scheme the rapper has allegedly been involved in. No further details were available.
The rapper was also arrested Tuesday by Arizona police on numerous motor vehicle charges stemming from a January incident during which cameras caught him driving 114 mph on a local highway.
Simmons was charged with racing on a highway, reckless driving, two counts of endangerment and three counts of criminal speed and driving on a suspended license.
DMX rose to fame in the 1990s, when he had five consecutive No. 1 albums on the Billboard charts.
Besides his top-selling records, Simmons has acted in films including "Never Die Alone," "Romeo Must Die" and "Cradle 2 the Grave."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.