Rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight is facing a March court date in Las Vegas following his arrest on a 2009 traffic warrant and a new misdemeanor drug charge, authorities said Thursday.
The former Death Row Records executive, 46, was stopped driving a black Bentley with California license plates about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on a street just off Flamingo Road west of the Las Vegas Strip, Officer Laura Meltzer said.
Knight was issued an unsafe lane change summons and arrested on a warrant stemming from previous traffic infractions. He also was charged with possession of less than one ounce of a controlled substance and released from jail without bail.
Celebrity website TMZ first reported the arrest. It said Knight had marijuana with him in the car.
Knight is due March 12 in Las Vegas Municipal Court, where court spokeswoman Jill Christensen said he was sought on a March 2009 warrant for failure to appear on three traffic violations – following too closely, failure to surrender a suspended license plate and being a non-resident driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license. The original charges stemmed from a traffic stop in November 2008.
No charge was immediately filed on the misdemeanor drug charge, which would be handled separately in Las Vegas Justice Court.
David Chesnoff, Knight’s attorney in previous Las Vegas cases, declined immediate comment Thursday. Chesnoff was traveling and said he had not yet spoken with Knight.
Chesnoff represented Knight when felony drug and battery charges were dropped in December 2008 following an incident in which Knight was accused of beating a woman while holding a knife in a parking lot near the Strip. Knight also was charged with felony possession of the drugs Ecstasy and hydrocodone.
Chesnoff said at the time that prosecutors had problems collecting evidence and witness accounts.
Knight, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, once played football for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He went on to co-found Death Row Records, which helped make stars of rappers such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Knight was at the wheel of a car in which Shakur was shot and killed in 1996 in Las Vegas. The debt-ridden record label later went bankrupt and was sold.