Snoop Dogg charged with carrying weapon

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Rapper Snoop Dogg, who was found carrying a collapsible baton through security at a southern California airport, has been charged with possession of a deadly weapon in the case, prosecutors said Thursday.

An arrest warrant was issued for the 35-year-old rapper under his real name, Calvin Broadus, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office said. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted.

"He either turns himself in or he gets picked up by law enforcement," spokeswoman Susan Schroeder said, adding that prosecutors had contacted the entertainer's representatives and asked that he surrender.

Schroeder said Broadus was trying to catch a flight from Orange County's John Wayne Airport with two bodyguards on Sept. 27 when airport security saw a long metal object in his laptop case. Opening the case, the officers discovered a 20-inch (51 cm) collapsible baton inside.

The rap star also was arrested last week at the Burbank airport, outside Los Angeles, after police said they found a gun and marijuana in his car. He was booked and released on $35,000 bail in that case.

Though possession of the baton could be filed as a lesser misdemeanor charge, Schroeder said Broadus was charged with a felony "based on his background and criminal record."

Broadus has said the baton was a prop in a video he was to make in New York and he was unaware it was illegal to take it on a plane.

Snoop Dogg, who has a previous conviction for cocaine possession, made his recording debut in the early 1990s as a protege of Dr Dre. He played a drug dealer turned informant in the 2004 movie "Starsky and Hutch."
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