Member of Justin Bieber's entourage arrested, drugs found during home search (updated)

68979 full
68979 full

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department searched Justin Bieber's Calabasas home for evidence Tuesday after the pop star allegedly egged a neighbor's home. A member of Bieber's entourage was arrested for narcotics possession, Sheriff's Department Lt. David Thompson said at a press conference Tuesday morning, but did not identify the person who was arrested.

The man was later identified as Lil Za, a rapper whose real name is Xavier Smith, the Associated Press reported. Jail records show Smith, 20, was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. 

Thompson said that Bieber, 19, had friends who had spent the night. The drug, which Thompson first believed was cocaine, was in "plain view."

Rather than cocaine, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said, the substance was more likely Ecstasy or the synthetic drug Molly, the L.A. Times reported. 

RELATED: Justin Bieber egging: What do you do when you get egged?

As far as Bieber goes, "He has not been arrested, nor has he been exonerated," Thompson said.

CBS helicopter over Bieber's house

Deputies are investigating Bieber in connection with an incident in which someone threw eggs at a neighbor's home on Thursday evening and damaged its exterior, causing thousands of dollars in damage. The singer lives in a gated community in Calabasas, a celebrity enclave about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Whitmore said the search warrant was for a possible felony case because the damage to the neighbor's home exceeded $400.

"A felony crime is a felony crime, no matter how you commit it," Thompson said, though he later added, "I get that the eggs don't seem that significant."

Helicopter at Bieber

"The purpose of the search warrant is to seek video surveillance or other possible evidence in the vandalism that occurred on Jan. 9," the Sheriff's Department said in a statement. "The vandalism damage is estimated by the homeowner to be approximately $20,000."

The high price of the damage is because Bieber's neighbor's home had imported wood and brick that were significantly damaged, Thompson said.

Sheriffs collected evidence at Bieber's home, Thompson said. He said they weren't necessarily looking for eggs — "Most of us here probably have eggs in our refrigerator" — but that they were looking for surveillance video, among other evidence that would place Bieber or someone else at the scene of the crime and serve as the basis for a felony case.

Bieber was at the home when nearly a dozen deputies served the warrant Tuesday morning, and he was being cooperative with investigators, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. Bieber did not have a lawyer with him, but did have his security detail, Thompson said.

The investigation also caused a stir in Bieber's neighborhood — comedian D.L. Hughley, who lives nearby, tweeted about the disturbance.

Hughley tweet

An email message sent to Bieber's publicist, Melissa Victor, was not immediately returned.

Previous investigations into Bieber's conduct by the sheriff's department have not resulted in charges.

"We didn't do this search to send a message," Thompson said, but added that the department's hope is that "understanding the gravity of this" will change Bieber's behavior.

In October, prosecutors declined to charge Bieber after a neighbor complained he drove recklessly through the area. Prosecutors in November 2012 also declined to charge the singer after a paparazzo accused him of punching and hitting him after leaving a Calabasas movie theater.

The investigation comes weeks after the release of a new album, "Journals," and of "Justin Bieber's Believe," a concert documentary/biopic. The film grossed only $3.1 million in its first three days.

This story has been updated.

With contributions by AP

blog comments powered by Disqus