BRAND NEW ON E!
The rapper, real name Calvin Broadus, is facing possible firearms charges in Los Angeles after riding to the BET Awards with a heavily armed posse in a bulletproof van.
Cops arrested three members of Snoop's entourage, who claimed to be bodyguards, moments after they dropped him off in front of Hollywood's Kodak Theater Tuesday night to attend the third annual BET Awards.
Snoop's customized ride of choice was described as "an Econoline van on steroids," Lieutenant Art Miller told Reuters, complete with armored sidewalls, bulletproof glass and gun ports.
"Officers watching the front of the theater saw Mr. Broadus get out with several individuals with bulletproof vests, and that immediately raised suspicion," said Miller.
That was enough for cops to put a stop-and-search order on the tricked-out vehicle plus two other cars that were part of Snoop's motorcade.
As a convicted felon--for possession of cocaine for sale--Snoop's prohibited from possessing guns and hiring armed security.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are currently investigating the potential weapons violation. If charged and convicted, Snoop could face up to 10 years in prison.
A total of 13 people were detained while federal agents confiscated a stash of handguns. Ultimately, three were arrested: two for misdemeanor warrants and one for parole violation. The rest of Snoop's crew was released.
The rapper had better luck inside the Kodak Theater where he won an award for Best Collaboration on the song "Beautiful" with Pharrell, who performed the tune that night.
Snoop Dogg's camp declined to comment on the incident.
The heavily guarded star has got some cause for concern. In April, he narrowly missed becoming another drive-by rap casualty when his motorcade was ambushed by an unknown gunman. Snoop escaped unharmed but one of his bodyguard's took a bullet to the back. The gunshot wound was not considered life-threatening and the man was released from hospital the next day.
That doesn't jive with the new image Snoop is trying to promote as a drug-free family man and fan of affirmative action. The rapper announced earlier this week he was ending his relationship with the Girls Gone Wild series because of the lack of women of color in the raunchy videos.
"If you notice, there hasn?t been no girls of (ethnicity) at all on none of those tapes," Snoop Dogg told the Associated Press. "No black girls, no Spanish girls--all white girls, and that ain't cool."
Snoop plans to offer his own equal-opportunity version of the flesh fest to placate fans who want their 15 seconds of topless notoriety.
"They've been complaining to me like crazy," he said. "They think I like the white girls because I'm on there with them, and I don't, I just did that for money."The Doggfather has also been busy with a new series on MTV, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, featuring a variety of skits and performances by Snoop's musical contemporaries. The multifaceted artist will also star as Huggy Bear in the upcoming remake of Starsky & Hutch, due in theaters March 2004.