Hip-hop fans in North Carolina may know Dequantes Devontay Lamar as Rich Homie Quan. The 27-year-old rapper was working to get his music career back on track and had hoped to release his first album in July, but he now faces decades in prison after being taken into custody on drug and weapons charges on May 27.
According to media reports, Lamar was on his way to perform at a nightclub in Georgia with five companions when the van he was traveling in arrived at a police checkpoint on Highway 1 in Jefferson County. A search of the van is said to have yielded quantities of marijuana, heroin, drug paraphernalia and a stolen gun. The Atlanta-born rapper was subsequently charged with a felony count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and transported to a nearby detention facility. The drug charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. The five individuals traveling with him were also taken into custody.
Lamar was rumored to have been under the influence of drugs when he passed out while filming a music video in 2014. The rapper denied the allegations in a media interview and blamed the incident on exhaustion caused by a grueling work schedule. He admitted to occasionally using recreational drugs but vehemently denied having a substance abuse problem. His bond hearing has been scheduled for June 9.
While law enforcement checkpoints have been ruled constitutional, police officers must still have probable cause before conducting warrantless searches. When presented with facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may study arrest reports closely to ensure that police did not violate protections guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
Source: WJBF, “Rapper Rich Homie Quan arrested on drug charges in Jefferson County”, June 1, 2017