by Daniel Hill
UPDATE: Nelly's lawyer says "he's confident" the "alleged contraband" won't be found to be the hip-hop star's. A shocking development, we know.
See our update at the bottom of the post, which includes an update on which drugs were actually found in the tour bus.
Originally posted on Saturday, April 11.
The saintliest of all the Lunatics was arrested in Tennessee yesterday morning when police found drugs and weapons on his tour bus during an inspection.
Law enforcement made the initial stop because the vehicle failed to display U.S. Department of Transportation and International Fuel Tax Association stickers, but the interaction soon escalated into a bust involving marijuana, crystal meth and a number of guns.
Nelly himself (real name Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) was charged with felony possession of drugs, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
In addition to Nelly, the bus was carrying five other passengers. After the trooper pulled the bus over, the officer claims he "noticed an odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle," according to a statement from law enforcement.
A search conducted by two officers turned up "five colored crystal-type rocks that tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as a small amount of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia," the statement continues.
In addition to the drugs, the inspection yielded 100 small Ziploc bags, a .500 Smith & Wesson magnum, a .45-caliber Taurus pistol and a gold-plated .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol.
Nelly and another passenger were taken to Putnam County Jail, where Nelly later posted a $10,000 bond, according to police. His next court date will be June 19.
This isn't the first major drug bust on Nelly's tour bus: In October 2012, he and his crew were found to have 36 bags of heroin, ten pounds of weed and a loaded .45 caliber pistol on their vehicle during a stop in Sierra Blanca, Texas. At that time, Nelly denied any knowledge of the contraband, and his associate Brian Keith Jones claimed responsibility. Jones was present during this most recent incident as well.
Nelly's people could not be immediately reached for comment at press time.
No word yet on how the arrest might affect his upcoming tour opening for New Kids on the Block.
Update on April 13:
Scott Rosenblum, who may be the savviest defense attorney in St. Louis, has signed on to represent Nelly. He tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "I think when the facts comes out, the alleged contraband will not be associated with Nelly. I feel strongly about that."
What that means? Someone else in Nelly's crew could end up copping a plea and saying the drugs, guns and other "alleged contraband" actually belong to them, not the hip-hop star. Bullet, dodged.
Why are we so certain that's how it will go down? Well, that's what happened last time -- witness that guilty plea in the 2012 case from Nelly's associate Brian Keith Jones. In this case, though, someone else will likely be making the plea; Jones is already facing charges in this incident for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the press release from Tennessee authorities.
Also, Rosenblum notes that the drugs in question -- sorry, alleged drugs -- aren't meth after all. "It was 'X' or MDMA or 'Molly,' as the college kids call it," Rosenblum told the P-D.
Somehow, the whole thing suddenly feels far less tawdry, don't you think?
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