PUTNAM CO, TN – Rapper Cornell Haynes, 40, commonly known by his stage name “Nelly” has been charged with felony drug possession after his bus was stopped for not having the correct stickers in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security says troopers noticed the smell of marijuana when they stopped the bus on Saturday morning. They found a plastic bag containing methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Several handguns were also found.
Brian Jones, 44, of St. Louis was charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun. Four others on the bus were not charged.
The bus was believed to be traveling to Nelly’s hometown St. Louis. The rapper and Jones were taken to the Putnam County Jail.
A Tennessee state trooper arrested internationally known hip-hop artist “Nelly” on felony drug charges in Putnam County on Saturday morning. Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes, was charged with felony possession of drugs, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At approximately 9:20 a.m. on Saturday, Trooper Michael Loftis stopped a Prevost motor coach bus on Interstate 40 near the 275 mile marker for failure to display a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) sticker on the vehicle. The investigating trooper planned to conduct an inspection on the bus when he noticed an odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.
Trooper Loftis, assisted by THP Sgt. Donald Jennings, then conducted a probable cause search of the bus. The troopers discovered in the sleeper area a plastic bag that contained five colored crystal-type rocks that tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as a small amount of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia.
Further investigation revealed approximately 100 small Ziploc bags that are commonly associated with the sale of narcotics and numerous handguns, including a gold-plated 50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, a 45-caliber Tarus pistol, and a 500 magnum Smith and Wesson.
The bus was occupied by six subjects, one of whom was identified as Brian Jones, 44, of St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Jones, a convicted felon, was also in possession of a handgun and was charged accordingly. Nelly, 40, also of St. Louis, Missouri and Jones, who were traveling to St. Louis when the traffic stop occurred, were transported to the Putnam County Jail.
The weapons and drugs were seized in accordance with state law. Booking photos may be obtained from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.