An attempt to pay tribute to the late New York City rapper Lionel Pickens was cut short over the weekend after police found narcotics and guns on several people participating in the video memorial. Five people were arrested during the filming of the music video honoring Pickens, the Coke Boys Records artist known as “Chinx Drugz” who was killed May 17 in a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn.
Three men and two women face weapons and drug charges after plainclothes police officers infiltrated the set in Brooklyn at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday and discovered the illegal items, the New York Daily News reported. The video was said to accompany the Coke Boys’ French Montana song “Off The Rip,” which features Pickens and was recorded before his death.
The presence of drugs and weapons on the set of the music video stands in stark contrast to Pickens’ funeral service last week, where family members touted how the 31-year-old had left behind a troubled past to emerge as a professional artist and family man. Pickens’ cousin, Norman Seabrook, who is also president of the New York City corrections officers’ union, told hundreds of fans and friends gathered for the service that police found no guns or drugs in the Porsche that was sprayed with bullets as Pickens and a passenger sat at a stoplight. Seabrook and a community group wearing anti-gun violence T-shirts urged mourners to do more to prevent senseless gun violence.
Saturday’s video shoot reportedly featured cameos from rap stars Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, Noreaga and Juelz Santana. Charlotte Hornets point guard Lance Stephenson also participated in the music video, according to the Daily News.
None of the celebrities were listed among those detained. Police said they arrested 35-year-old security guard Frank Bartlett, who allegedly carried a gun without a serial number in his waistband; and 32-year-old Ronald James, who allegedly passed a Derringer pistol to his girlfriend, 27-year-old Ebonee Eastmond. She was also arrested. Edward Elkins was arrested with a semiautomatic pistol in a shopping bag tucked between his feet. Wendy Miranda, 30, who was featured in the video, was also arrested after a .32-caliber revolver was found near her, police officials said.
Cocaine, marijuana and the drug MDMA, or “molly,” were also discovered on the set, the officials said. Authorities learned of the video shoot after community residents reported seeing guns and drugs on the set, located behind a supermarket in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. French Montana posted photos of the video shooting to his Instagram account. He did not mention the arrests that were made on set.