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Rapper DMX held on animal cruelty, drug charges

  • Story Highlights
  • He faces 7 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, 4 felony drug charges
  • Five pit bull mix puppies were taken from his home
  • 12 animals were seized from rapper's home in August
  • He was also arrested this week for going 114 mph on highway, officials say
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(CNN) -- Rapper DMX was arrested Friday on drug and animal cruelty charges after attempting to barricade himself inside his Arizona home, sheriff's deputies said.


Friday morning's arrest was rapper DMX's second brush with the law this week, authorities said.

DMX, 37, whose real name is Earl Simmons, faces seven misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and four felony drug possession charges, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

He was apprehended at his home in Cave Creek, Arizona. A news release from the office also said deputies were serving a search warrant at the Mayo Clinic in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona, involving possible fraud charges involving the rapper.

According to sheriff's deputies, five pit bull mix puppies were taken from the rapper's home by an animal control unit and will be taken to to a jail where they will be cared for by female inmates.

In August, deputies raided DMX's home and seized 12 pit bulls and pit bull mixes after receiving a report that the animals were being abused. No arrests were made at the time; authorities said that some of the dogs had apparently not been fed or watered but that there was no evidence of dogfighting.

The carcasses of three dogs were found partially buried on the property in August, and one of the dogs may have been burned, the sheriff's office said.

"A guy like this DMX character, with all his money and fame, has no excuse for not providing proper care for his animals," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Friday.

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In August, the rapper's lawyer, Murray Richman, said his client had been on tour and had a caretaker was watching his dogs. He said the caretaker had fed and watered the dogs but not brought them in from Arizona's summer heat.

He said DMX was upset about the treatment of the dogs, which he sometimes features in his music videos.

After a search warrant was served about 3 a.m. Friday, officials said, deputies found weapons and drugs, leading to the drug charges.

They said the rapper -- who rose to fame in the 1990s with a string of platinum records and movie appearances -- attempted to barricade himself in his bedroom but eventually came out, offered no further resistance and was booked into jail.

County Attorney Andrew Thomas said the rapper's celebrity status will not change how he'll approach the case.

"We are handling this case as we would any other incident of alleged animal cruelty," Thomas said.

Friday's arrest is one of many brushes with the law DMX has had.

On Wednesday, he was arrested on charges of racing on a highway after speed cameras on a Phoenix-area freeway caught him going 114 mph, CNN affiliate KPHO reported. He was booked on charges of racing on a highway, reckless driving, two counts of endangerment and three counts of criminal speed and driving on a suspended license.

DMX faced a 1999 animal cruelty charge in Teaneck, New Jersey, that was dismissed after the performer agreed to accept responsibility and record public service announcements for an animal rights group.

The August raid came the same week that former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to bankrolling and running a dogfighting ring in Virginia.

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