Nelly Arrested on Felony Drug Charge While Traveling in Tennessee

State troopers said they stopped his bus for a sticker violation and searched it after smelling marijuana

Photo: Putnam County Sheriff's Dept.

Rapper Nelly was arrested on several drug charges, including felony possession, early Saturday by Tennessee state troopers, PEOPLE has confirmed. However, his attorney has said that he was “not associated” with the contraband that led to his arrest.

The 40-year-old music star, born Cornell Haynes Jr., was traveling with five other people in a Prevost motor coach bus in Putnam County when the vehicle was stopped at about 9:20 a.m. for failure to display a U.S. Department of Transportation and International Fuel Tax Association sticker, authorities said in a press release.

Troopers said they smelled the odor of marijuana in the vehicle, according to the release.

They said a subsequent probable cause search and investigation found a plastic bag with five colored, crystal-type rocks that tested positive for methamphetamine; a “small amount” of marijuana; approximately 100 small Ziploc bags and “numerous” handguns, including a gold-plated 50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol.

Nelly was charged with felony possession of drugs, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Nelly’s attorney said in a statement that the rapper was not associated with the contraband that was discovered.

“Nelly was one of several individuals that was on a tour bus that was stopped and searched while traveling through Tennessee,” attorney Scott Rosenblum said. “In fact, there had been 15-20 people that had access to the bus prior to the stop. Allegedly, a small quantity of contraband (MDMA aka Molly or Ecstasy) was discovered during the routine search.”

The statement continued, “We are extremely confident that when the facts come out, Nelly will not be associated with the contraband that was allegedly discovered.”

Police said they identified one of the other five passengers as 44-year-old Brian Jones, a convicted felon found in possession of a handgun and charged accordingly.

Both men were booked into the Putnam County Jail. They made bond on Saturday and have been released, officials told PEOPLE.

Additional reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA

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