DMX Slapped With Dogfighting, Drug Charges

The SWAT team arrested the rapper after he barricaded himself in his Ariz. home.

PHOENIX -- May 9, 2008— -- Rapper DMX was arrested for the second time in a week Friday, this time after he was indicted on felony drug possession and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

A SWAT team with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office raided DMX's north Phoenix home at about 3 a.m. to serve arrest and search warrants and take him into custody on the indictment, sheriff's spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla said.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, tried to barricade himself in his bedroom as a SWAT team entered but then came out.

He made an initial court appearance Friday where bail was sent at $7,500, said his local attorney, Cameron Morgan. Morgan said he expected bail to be posted quickly.

The indictment stems from an August search of the rapper's home prompted by reports of dogs being abused on his property. Detectives seized 12 pit bull dogs and dug up the remains of three others on the rural property.

Detectives also said they found marijuana.

During Friday's raid, officials said more drugs were found and weapons seized and additional charges were possible.

Simmons' New York lawyer, Murray Richman, said he told his client to expect such a raid after his efforts to make DMX available to law enforcement were rebuffed.

"I anticipated it, I explained to my client what was going to happen," Richman said. "I think that the animal cruelty is not going to be able to be established and I think that this is Sheriff Joe's moment."

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made stopping animal cruelty a major issue. He converted one of the county's air-conditioned jails into an animal shelter and moved the inmates into tents.

"A guy like this DMX character with all his money and fame has no excuse for not providing proper care for his animals," the sheriff said in a statement.

Sheriff's deputies made a series of visits to the rapper's home in August after receiving reports of neglected pit bulls. They found a caretaker who had been hired to care for the animals.

Richman said that DMX was not in Arizona in the weeks leading up to the initial raid.

The rapper has had previous run-ins with the law, including an arrest Tuesday by the Arizona Department of Public Safety after speed-enforcement cameras captured him going 114 mph on a suburban Phoenix freeway.

In June 2006, Scottsdale police cited him for carrying a concealed handgun outside a nightclub.

He also served 70 days in jail in 2005 for violating his parole following a 2004 incident in which he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his sport utility vehicle through a security gate at Kennedy International Airport.

DMX recorded the 1999 hit single "Party Up (Up in Here)." His last album, "Year of the Dog ... Again," was released last year.