Sean "Diddy" Combs' Alleged Drug "Mule" Arrested at Airport Amid Home Raids

A man alleged to be a drugs and guns "mule" working for Sean "Diddy" Combs was arrested in Florida the same day federal agents searched two of the rap mogul's homes.

By Corinne Heller Mar 28, 2024 5:53 PMTags
Watch: Sean “Diddy” Combs Investigation: What Authorities Found in Home Raids

New details are emerging in the Sean "Diddy" Combs' investigation. 

On March 25, the same day two of the rap mogul's homes were raided by federal agents, Brendan Paul, 25, was detained at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport for allegedly carrying cocaine and marijuana-laced candy, according to a police report obtained by NBC News. The man is an associate of Combs', a law enforcement source familiar with the matter confirmed to the organization.

In a recent civil lawsuit filed against Diddy, Paul—a former member of the Syracuse University basketball team—is alleged to be his drugs and guns "mule."

According to court records obtained by E! News, Paul has since been released on bail and faces charges of possessing cocaine and a controlled substance.

"We do not plan on trying this case in the media," his attorney, Brian Bieber, told NBC News March 27, "all issues will be dealt with in court."

A hearing has been set for April 24, court records show.

Sean "Diddy" Combs' Family Tree

The same day as his arrest, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents executed search warrants ordered by a New York court on his properties in the Los Angeles and Miami areas while he was away from them. The federal agency said in a statement to NBC News that the law enforcement actions were taken "as part of an ongoing investigation," without providing details.

A source familiar with the matter told NBC News that Combs is a subject of a federal investigation amid a wave of lawsuits that have been filed against the rap music mogul since November and that federal officials have already interviewed three women and a man in New York City in relation to allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.


Miami-Dade Police Department / Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images for Sean "Diddy" Combs

"Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs' residences," his attorney Aaron Dyer said in a March 26 statement to E! News, adding that the "Bad Boy for Life" artist was never detained and instead "spoke to and cooperated with authorities.

Combs is facing at least four sexual assault civil lawsuits filed since November. That month, he settled one filed by ex-girlfriend Cassie, who accused him of rape and abuse. He has denied any wrongdoing in all the cases.

Paul is named in one of the lawsuits, which producer Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones filed in February and amended March 25. He alleges he worked for Combs between September 2022 and September 2023 and states that Paul "works as Mr. Combs Mule. He acquires, and distributes, Mr. Combs drugs, and guns." He includes in his lawsuit photos of Paul and the rapper sitting and walking together.

HIGHFIVE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Jones alleges in his filing, obtained by NBC News, that during his time working for Combs, he was transported from California to New York, Florida, Saint Barthélemy, and the United States Virgin Islands—where the rapper owns homes—and that during this time, he "was forced to solicit sex workers and perform sex acts to the pleasure of Mr. Combs."

GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

He also accuses the rapper of groping him constantly throughout his employment, during which he lived with him for months.

Jonee says in his lawsuit that Combs had him record him constantly. He said he acquired hundreds of hours of footage and audio recordings of the music artist, members of his staff, and guests "engaging in serious illegal activity." He also alleges he has personally witnessed and secured evidence of the "acquisition, use, and distribution" of drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, GHB and ketamine, and of Combs allegedly providing laced alcoholic beverages to minors and sex workers at his homes.

"There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations," the rapper's lawyer said in his statement to NBC News regarding the civil lawsuits. "Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name." 

(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Read on for more details surrounding the federal raids.

Search Warrants Executed on Diddy’s L.A. and Miami Properties

Federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed search warrants at Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Los Angeles and Miami properties on March 25, multiple law enforcement sources confirmed to NBC News.  

The sources told the outlet the warrant was out of the Southern District of New York, and a spokesperson for HSI New York confirmed to E! News it “executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners.” 

Law enforcement sources told NBC News the music mogul was in the Miami area when the search warrants were executed. 

News about the investigation broke after Combs faced allegations of sexual misconduct in lawsuits filed by multiple accusers starting in November, with the musician denying the allegations. 

“Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday,” he wrote in a December statement posted on Instagram. “Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.” 

Diddy’s Attorney Speaks Out

The day after HSI executed the search warrants at Combs' L.A. and Miami properties, his lawyer spoke out

"Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs' residences," attorney Aaron Dyer said in a March 26 statement to E! News. "There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated." 

Dyer noted Combs “was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.”  

“Despite media speculation, neither Mr. Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way,” his lawyer's statement continued. “This unprecedented ambush—paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence—leads  to a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.” 

And Dyer expressed Combs' intent to defend himself.

“There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations,” he added. “Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Details About the Raid Revealed

As for what actually went down during the searches, multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the warrant told NBC News authorities with the Department of Homeland Security seized phones from Combs’ home in Miami before he was scheduled to travel to the Bahamas, and several sources familiar with the matter added that guns were discovered during the search.

One source familiar with the matter also told NBC News three women and one man were interviewed by prosecutors and investigators from the Southern District of New York about allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault, the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms purportedly tied to Combs.

Diddy’s Associate Brendan Paul Arrested on Suspicion of Drug Possession

On the same day the search warrants were executed at Combs’ Miami and Los Angeles properties, one of his associates, Brendan Paul, was arrested by the Miami-Dade police on suspicion of drug possession, a law enforcement source familiar with the matter told NBC News

According to the Miami-Dade arrest affidavit obtained by the outlet, Paul was taken into custody for allegedly possessing suspected cocaine and suspected marijuana candy. 

Prison records obtained by NBC News show Paul was released on March 26 after posting bond.

“We do not plan on trying this case in the media,” Paul’s attorney Brian Bieber said in a statement obtained by the outlet, “all issues will be dealt with in court.” 

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