Latest celebrity to get swallowed up by the "Bermuda Triangle" of drug bust checkpoints: Nelly

Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and Fiona Apple have all been famously busted for possession of cannabis at Texas' Sierra Blanca border checkpoint. But Nelly, who was detained last night, could be in a little more trouble than his fellow musicians. When his bus was searched, officers found 36 bags of heroin, a loaded pistol, and a duffel bag with 10 pounds of cannabis.

One of the passengers, a man named Brian Keith Jones, has fessed up to owning everything and was arrested. A dubious claim, sure, but Nelly and the remaining five people were released.
Nelly detained in Texas for possession of heroin, a loaded gun, and 10 pounds of weed


  1. “Brian” “Keith” “Jones” ? Arrested for possession of heroin, weed and weapons ?

    You’ve GOT to be kidding.

  2. Texas busted someone for carrying a loaded firearm? What’s the matter, did they forget to keep it cocked with the safety off?

    1.  Might want to check on Texas law before you go off half-cocked with a stereotype:

      It’s not legal to carry a weapon in a vehicle while committing a crime…in this case, hauling enough drugs  to stun a moose.

      Drug use makes you stupid seems to be the only logical reason these people haul this much stuff into paces known to be just the wee bit harsh on such projects.

      I understand “rappers’ generally seek to have arrest records in order to boost their “cred” so there’s no accounting for this level of stupidity in nay case.

  3. Is there some sort of combination lawyer/publicist/psychologist flavor of consultant that a celebrity can hire to keep the abreast of what crimes are mostly harmless and good publicity (eg. Cristal fight between your posse and a rival celebrity in posh nightclub) and what crimes are likely to be bad publicity and/or relegate you to the unenviable status of ‘black guy #23412334, Texas State Penitentiary’ for the next decade?

    It seems like there would be a lot of demand for that.

    1. What exactly is the scam?  Heroin is an illegal substance and cannabis is still illegal in most places.  The loaded firearm is more iffy depending on location found, type, and permit status.  You may not agree with drugs being illegal, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are.

      1.  The scam is that this is a “Border” checkpoint, that’s not terribly near the border, and there’s no evidence that this bus ever crossed the border.

        Generally, when pulled over by police, you have the right to refuse to have your vehicle searched.  This is not true of border checkpoints.

        1. within a hundred miles of the US border there’s this “constitution free zone”  thank the patriot act.  They didn’t have to go anywhere near a border, just make the mistake of taking the highway out of southern cali into texas.

        2. Look up “functional equivalent of the border”.  Here, I’ll save you some time:

          Learn what the law actually is before commenting on what you *think* the law is.  It is useless to be outraged over something you do not even understand.  The legal principle predates Patriot by an order of magnitude.

          Whether it is rightly or wrongly applied here is the issue, not that it exists at all.

          I don’t know from other countries but I have come to the conclusion that most Americans are complete idiots about their own laws and legal system, even the parts that have existed for a century or more.

          1. “The legal principle predates Patriot by an order of magnitude.” You can’t predate something by an order of magnitude.  That makes absolutely no sense. Moving an order of magnitude means multiplying or dividing a number by 10.

      2. I think the “scam” is having a so-called border checkpoint that’s not on the U.S.-Mexico border. Regular cops would need probable cause to pull over a vehicle but the Supreme Court has given Border agents “wide discretion” to stop motorists at these checkpoints. Since they have drug-sniffing dogs with them at the checkpoints, a “woof” can get them probable cause for a search.

        1. Whilst not arguing the “scam” itself, there’s not much survivable country between the actual border and the checkpoint. This is a pretty typical border checkpoint for South West Texas and placed such as to be closer to population centers.

          1. That map has to be the stupidest interpretation of the border jurisprudence I can imagine. Lake Michigan, for instance is not an international border. There is no reason to draw the “zone” around it. Ditto most of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

            They could at least have taken the time and care to have identified international airports and drawn 100 mile bubbles around those. It would still not have reflected the jurisprudence, but at least it would have had some sense to it.

          2. @ChicagoD:disqus 

            I’m not clear on whether the zone includes merely international airports themselves, or also 100 mile circles around international airports.

            In any case, the law does clearly apply to both land and sea borders (which are generally 3 miles out from the coast), and inland ports (like Chicago’s) – which I guess would mean your protection against suspicionless searches generally only stops 97 miles from the coast, vs 100 miles from a land border.

            Of course there’s slightly more nuance to it than that – but the courts have still upheld things like ‘the intersection of two or more roads that lead to the border’ to be ‘equivalent to the border’ – so basically any crossroads within the 100 mile zone may still be fourth-amendment-free…

      3. the scam, it seems, is profiling.

        out of state plates are reason enough? in my day, speeding was a traffic stop, or a broken tail light. reminds me of the pilot episode of andy griffith w/ danny kaye in the place of willy, nelly, and the rest.

        ? : locals with gunracks in pickups are exempt?

  4. Based what I’ve learned about how heroin affects talent from studying Lou Reed, there’s no way the heroin belonged to Nelly. It is possible he quit heroin before he started recording albums.

  5. “NO, YOU DO NOT HAVE MY PERMISSION TO SEARCH”   In fact, you don’t have to answer them “are you an American citizen”? Tell them to piss off. Go to YouTube and google “CheckpointUSA”.  It’s scary what is happening out there. Then again, the Supreme Court hasn’t had a backbone in years. Who needs a 4th Amendment? 

    1. Yes, but we’re talking about the real world, not Pleasantville. The authorities can do anything that they want.

    2. as the others have mentioned, within a hundred miles of the boarder, constitution doesn’t apply, and even if it did, once the dog alerted they had probable cause.  best bet is to just avoid texas entirely.

  6. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around why these people either continue to go through there or else continue to bring contraband through there, when even I know that ol’ Willy was busted for marijuana possession there.  Do their people somehow not know that tourbuses for musical acts are seemingly targeted there?  If they have no choice but to go through there, can’t they lay off the drugs for a few days to avoid having anything incriminating on the bus when they’re stopped?

    I’m certainly not one to advocate drug use, but if you’re going to do something illegal, are you going to do it where people are looking to bust you for it?

  7. I’m probably not the only one having a hard time dredging up any outrage that someone got busted in possession of heroin and a loaded firearm. It’s that kind of stupidity that makes it harder to argue that recreational drug use is a victimless crime and harder to argue for due process and against random police searches.

    1. Guns are drugs now?  Setting aside the question of whether it’s a good idea to keep a gun in a vehicle that’s not on its way to a hunting trip – how does whether he possessed a gun, a smuggled parrot, a stolen Faberge egg, or a 12th C manuscript bible “upcycled” into scrapbooking supplies, have anything to do with whether his possession and use of one recreational plant product rather than another one victimized soeone, or whether he should have been searched in the first place?

      1. I maybe wasn’t clear. He was carrying a large quantity of drugs, probably much more than a reasonable personal stash of weed, and what may have been a lot of heroin (depends on the size of the bags). He was also carrying a firearm. To me that says dangerous doped up idiot with a gun, at best. At worst, violent criminal involved in the nastier side of the drug trade. I could be completely wrong about that, but that wasn’t the thrust of my point.

        I’m not saying his actions are an argument against legalisation of weed (or even heroin). But what his idiocy does is make it harder to *argue for* a rational drug policy and against random drug searches, because as far as the public at large are concerned: OMG! the cops caught a BAD GUY. With HEROIN. And a GUN. 

        1. Well, if you assume he was smuggling it, I’d say it makes an excellent argument for legalization – if it were legal, it could be shipped by bonded truck the same way liquor is, and cut the armed and desperate right out of the game

        2. To me that says dangerous doped up idiot with a gun, at best.

          That’s a rather European perspective. Carrying a gun is quite normal in Texas. You might choose to make inferences, but the facts don’t really offer many implications.

          1. If you’ve ever driven across Texas, carrying a gun really doesn’t seem at all weird. It’s vast and empty. If you break down, you might need to shoot a few rattlesnakes for dinner.

      1. The drug is still a “recreational” one, regardless of the person’s motivation in possessing it, or the quantities possessed.

        If you buy three cases of whiskey because it’s on sale, having 36 bottles of whiskey in the trunk of your car doesn’t make it non-recreational. Heck, Anheuser-Busch owns a helluva lot of beer at any given moment, but that doesn’t make the beer non-recreational.

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