PASADENA – Rapper Snoop Dogg pleaded no contest today to
felony charges of gun possession by a felon and sale and
transportation of marijuana. He was sentenced immediately by
Pasadena Superior Court Judge Terry Smerling.
The 35-year-old entertainer, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin
Broadus, entered the plea at his arraignment. The case was filed
against him yesterday. The plea was the result of a negotiated
Deputy District Attorney Marian Thompson outlined the plea prior
to it actually being taken by Judge Smerling. Broadus was sentenced
to three years state prison, but the term was suspended. He was
placed on five years probation with the understanding that if he
violates probation, he will be sentenced to three years in state
Broadus also is to do 800 hours of community service. Only half
of that – 400 hours – can be the time he already volunteers with his
youth football league. In addition, restrictions were placed on
people in the rapper’s employ as well as his entourage. He cannot
employ anyone in a security or driving capacity who has a criminal
record or is gang-affiliated.
He also must employ California-licensed security personnel. They
must be licensed to carry firearms if they are armed.
Defense attorney Donald Etra told reporters outside of court that
all of the rapper’s staff and entourage will be “completely vetted.”
Broadus, wearing a black fur-lined leather jacket, black jeans
and a tee-shirt, answered only, “Yes, sir,” or “No, sir,” when the
judge inquired about the plea agreement. When asked his plea to each
count, the defendant replied, “No contest.”
He did not meet with reporters after the court session. His
attorney said he had a prior commitment.
Broadus was first arrested Oct. 26 at Burbank Airport. Thompson
said he had 39.14 grams of marijuana – some of it in individual
canisters – at the time of this arrest. A search warrant served at
his home in the Diamond Bar in November turned up a semi-automatic
handgun, she said.
Two prior felony convictions – drugs in 1990 and possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon in 1997 – were admitted by Broadus as
part of the plea agreement.
The rapper also waived his appellate rights and agreed to comply
with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 that allows possession of a
certain amount of marijuana for medicinal purposes. His attorney
said in court that Broadus has a medical certificate to use
marijuana. Outside court, he told reporters it was for migraines.