DMX arrested after missing court date

Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:43am EDT
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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Chart-topping rap star DMX was arrested at a store in Florida on Thursday for failing to appear in an Arizona court on drug charges, authorities said.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was taken into custody outside a Wal-Mart store in north Miami Beach on a warrant issued by a Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner.

The 37-year-old, who has a home outside Phoenix, failed to appear on Tuesday for a pretrial conference on charges relating to marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, one of several legal battles he faces in Arizona.

He was arrested in May on drug and animal cruelty charges after sheriff's deputies raided his Cave Creek, Arizona, home. Authorities alleged that there were dog carcasses and malnourished pit bulls at the residence.

The rapper also faces two felony charges for taking the identity of another person and giving false information during a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, in an alleged attempt to avoid paying the bill.

"This guy is treating our legal system like a revolving door and it's time we closed the cell door on him," Arpaio told Reuters.

Simmons had his first five albums open at No. 1 on the U.S. pop album charts, but his most recent release, 2006's "Year of the Dog ... Again," ended that run by debuting at No. 2.

Simmons has also acted in several action movies, including "Cradle 2 The Grave" and "Exit Wounds."


<p>Rapper Earl "DMX" Simmons is shown in this Maricopa County Sheriff's Department booking photograph July 2, 2008. REUTERS/Maricopa County Sheriff Department/Handout</p>