DMX Slapped With Dogfighting, Drug Charges

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

ByBOB CHRISTIE

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

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

DMX, whose real name is EarlSimmons, tried to barricade himself in his bedroom as a SWAT teamentered but then came out.

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

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

Detectives also said they found marijuana.

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

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

"I anticipated it, I explained to my client what was going tohappen," Richman said. "I think that the animal cruelty is notgoing to be able to be established and I think that this is SheriffJoe's moment."

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

"A guy like this DMX character with all his money and fame hasno excuse for not providing proper care for his animals," thesheriff said in a statement.

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

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

The rapper has had previous run-ins with the law, including anarrest Tuesday by the Arizona Department of Public Safety afterspeed-enforcement cameras captured him going 114 mph on a suburbanPhoenix freeway.

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

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

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

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