‘Pawn Stars’ star Chumlee taking plea deal to avoid jail
LAS VEGAS (AP) — One of the stars of the reality TV show “Pawn Stars” told a judge on Monday he’s taking a plea deal that would spare him jail time in a case stemming from the discovery of guns, marijuana and other drugs at his Las Vegas home.
Austin Lee Russell, who is known as “Chumlee” to television viewers, said he’ll plead guilty to a felony weapon charge and a misdemeanor attempted drug possession count in an agreement that will get him counseling and three years’ probation.
If he stays out of trouble until 2019, the felony charge would be dismissed and Russell would be left with only a misdemeanor conviction on his record.
If he doesn’t, he’ll face two to five years in state prison on the weapon possession charge.
Russell and his attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, didn’t comment as they left court. They’re due back June 1 to enter Russell’s pleas in Clark County District Court.
Chesnoff said later they were “gratified that a thorough investigation by both the police and the defense can lead to a just result.”
An official with A&E Network and the History Channel said “Pawn Stars” is not currently in production and there has been no change in Russell’s status on the show.
Russell, 33, was arrested March 9 after police serving a warrant in a sex assault case found a small arsenal of weapons, a gallon plastic bag of pot, anxiety medication and a small amount of methamphetamine at his home.
Russell wasn’t arrested on a sex crime allegation, and no charge was filed in that case.
“The case will end, with court approval, without any allegation of sexual assault,” Chesnoff said Monday.
Prosecutor James Sweetin declined to comment.
The type of counseling Russell will undergo wasn’t specified. John Pacult, the Las Vegas licensed clinical social worker named in the plea agreement, didn’t immediately respond to messages. However, one of his specialties is counseling sex offenders, according to his Internet website.
The plea agreement calls for Russell to surrender the drugs and 12 guns police reported seizing at Russell’s home.
The weapons range from registered handguns to a shotgun and assault-style MP5 and .223-caliber rifles that were not registered, police said.
Almost 5 ounces of marijuana was found in jars and plastic bags in varying amounts, according to a police report, including one large Ziploc bag containing more than 4 ounces. Police also reported finding the anxiety drug Xanax and some methamphetamine.
“The weapons were not there for any criminal purpose, and Austin recognizes that the possession and use of marijuana is prohibited by the law except in certain circumstances,” Chesnoff told The Associated Press.