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Notorious B.I.G. Arrested on Gun and Drug Charges

July 31, 1996 GMT

TEANECK, N.J. (AP) _ The rap star Notorious B.I.G. has been arrested on weapons and drug charges.

The rapper, who is also known as Biggie Smalls and whose real name is Christopher Wallace, was arrested July 23 after police searched his home and found marijuana and firearms, investigators said.

A Teaneck police officer reported smelling marijuana after going his town house to get someone to move a car that was illegally parked outside, Bergen County Assistant Prosecutor Fred Schwanwede said Tuesday.

Police said they found a Tec-9 pistol with a 30-round clip, two guns fitted with infrared, laser-targeting devices, a revolver and almost 50 grams of marijuana. The serial numbers had been scratched off the guns, an indication they could have been stolen, police said.

Seven members of Wallace’s rap group, the Junior M.A.F.I.A., were charged with marijuana possession. James ``L’il Caesar″ Lloyd, a member of the group, also was charged with possession of a gun and hollow-point bullets.

Wallace and the others were arraigned July 24 in Teaneck Municipal Court. Wallace was released on $150,000 bail, Lloyd on $50,000 bail. The others were released on their own recognizance.

Wallace built his gangsta rap persona around authenticity, making much of his past as an ex-crack dealer from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant.

He was honored as rap artist of the year at the Billboard Awards in December. He also was cited for rap single of the year, ``One More Chance,″ and his debut album ``Ready to Die″ went platinum, selling more than 1 million copies.

In June 1995, Wallace was arrested on robbery and aggravated assault charges. In that case, Wallace was accused of breaking a man’s jaw before stealing his jewelry, cellular phone and beeper in Camden. The robbery charges were dismissed, but the aggravated assault charges are pending.

In March, he was charged with assault in New York after allegedly using a baseball bat to attack a pair of autograph seekers. Wallace pleaded guilty Monday to criminal mischief and fourth-degree harassment. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.