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Old 06-27-06, 08:16 PM   #1
Michael T Hudson
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Hip-hop producer faces Dubai drug charges

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Grammy-winning hip-hop producer Dallas Austin faces drug possession charges in the United Arab Emirates that could land him a lengthy prison term, Middle Eastern legal sources said Tuesday.

Austin, 34, was the producer behind TLC, one of the biggest R&B groups of the 1990s.

The New York Daily News reported last week that Austin has been held in Dubai since May 19, when he was arrested at the airport en route to a birthday party for British supermodel Naomi Campbell at one of the country's hotels.

A police official who requested anonymity told The Associated Press that Austin had an unspecified amount of cocaine in his possession.

The U.S. State Department warns travelers the UAE's strict anti-drug laws can bring sentences of up to 15 years for simple possession.

Austin appeared in court last week for a first hearing and is due to appear again Sunday, his lawyer told the AP.

His studio in Atlanta, Georgia, referred calls to a publicist, who did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Austin won a Grammy in 1999 for the TLC's "Fanmail," which was named the year's best R&B album. He went on to craft songs for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Fishbone, Gwen Stefani and Pink.

He also was a producer on the movies "Drumline," released in 2002, and "ATL," released earlier this year.

A State Department official said the government is aware of Austin's case and that the U.S. consulate in Dubai is providing all possible assistance.

The official said U.S. privacy laws prevented him from offering further details.

CNN's Caroline Faraj in Dubai and Elise Labott in Washington contributed to this report.
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Old 06-28-06, 06:11 AM   #2
zombiezilla
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He's fucked.
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Old 06-28-06, 06:46 AM   #3
atlantamoi
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Yeah, he's screwed. How could anyone be that stupid to carry around drugs in those ultra-strict countries? I do hope he somehow receives punishment more along with what he'd receive in the U.S., though.
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Old 06-28-06, 09:00 AM   #4
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I sometimes wonder if these people are so used to carrying that shit around that they forget they even had it in their bags. Like they've got in stashed in so many places they forget a spot, so to speak. Because I can't believe someone would be ballsy enough to actively try to sneak that stuff into a county like that.

Wow, and he's been there over a month. I wonder why it's taken so long for the news to get out?
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Old 06-28-06, 09:06 AM   #5
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An interesting addition:
http://www.vh1.com/news/articles/153...headlines=true

Quote:
Hitmaker Dallas Austin has been in a Dubai prison for more than a month on drug charges, local authorities have confirmed.

Austin, 33 who's worked with TLC, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Pink, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and many others over his 17-year career was traveling to Dubai to attend Naomi Campbell's three-day birthday party at the Burj Al Arab hotel when he was detained at Dubai International Airport on May 19. He is currently being held at Al Rashidiya prison, where he is being allowed visitors.

While Dubai police did confirm that Austin is being held on drug charges, they stopped short of accusing him of trafficking, which can result in a death-penalty sentence in the United Arab Emirates, the Persian Gulf nation in which Dubai is located. Instead, officers characterized the amount of drugs Austin is alleged to have had in his possession as small, indicating it would likely have been for personal use.

A clerk at the Dubai Court of First Instance referred to the charges as "possessing and taking drugs," which could mean that Austin was allegedly seen taking drugs, or that traces of drugs were allegedly in his system. Under U.A.E. law, the presence of restricted drugs and medication in the body can count as possession even if an individual used a substance before arriving in the country. A British woman named Tracy Lewis was held for eight weeks in a Dubai jail in 2005 after testing positive for prescription drugs codeine and temazepam even though codeine is available over-the-counter in England and one of the drugs found in her system was prescribed to her at the Dubai airport clinic.

Even a small quantity of a controlled substance (which can include some over-the-counter U.S. drugs and even poppy seeds) can result in a four- to 15-year sentence in the U.A.E. However, police estimated that Austin would likely receive a sentence of one to two years, depending on the results of their ongoing investigation. Dubai police did not specify whether Austin possessed cocaine, as some news outlets reported Friday, but did say that he allegedly possessed marijuana.

Sources close to Austin suggest that the producer aroused suspicion when, after first going through airport security upon arrival, he went back to retrieve something he had forgotten on the plane. The sources said any cocaine in Austin's possession must have been a trace residue in a borrowed traveling bag.

The sources also said that Austin may have possessed the sleeping aid Ambien (also called Sonata or Zaleplon), which is not considered a narcotic but is on the U.A.E.'s list of restricted medications.

The State Department and the U.S. Consulate are attempting to assist Austin, but declined to provide further information about this specific case. A State Department official said in these types of cases the office typically supplies a list of local lawyers, contacts family members and seeks funds on the prisoner's behalf, provides a loan if needed, visits the jail to make sure the prisoner is being treated fairly and provides basic toiletries.

Austin is scheduled to enter a plea at the Dubai Court of First Instance on July 2.
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Old 06-28-06, 10:09 AM   #6
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Old 06-30-06, 06:11 AM   #7
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Oh man, he's REALLY fucked.
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Old 06-30-06, 03:50 PM   #8
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this guy produced all these A grade acts and also Fishbone ??
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Old 07-02-06, 07:40 PM   #9
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Grammy-winning R&B producer Dallas Austin pleaded guilty Sunday to charges of carrying cocaine into Dubai, and faces up to four years in prison.

The 34-year-old producer from Atlanta, Georgia -- who has created tunes for Madonna, Janet Jackson and Sugababes -- pleaded guilty in a Dubai court to charges of possessing 1.26 grams of cocaine. He will be sentenced Tuesday.

Austin told the judge that he'd made an unintentional mistake and didn't mean to break the law in the United Arab Emirates.

Austin was transported from a jail cell to the court, where he spent just a few minutes. He wore jeans and a white dress shirt, and sported a light goatee.

Standing before the judge as charges were read, Austin appeared confident and at one point winked at his phalanx of four lawyers, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Austin's multinational legal team was expected to seek a pardon from Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Pardons have been issued in similar cases, but the defendant still retains a criminal record and is usually deported.

Local media in Dubai reported that Austin was on his way to supermodel Naomi Campbell's birthday bash at the glitzy Burj al-Arab Hotel when he was arrested May 19 at Dubai's airport. Austin's lawyer disputed the reported nature of his visit, saying the producer was in Dubai to attend concerts.

Since his arrest, Austin has been held without bail at Dubai's al-Rashidiya Police Station.

At Sunday's hearing, he was accompanied by four attorneys: Mohammad Al Reda of the UAE, Qays Hatem Al Zu'bi of Bahrain, Joel A. Katz of the Atlanta law firm Greenberg Traurig and another American lawyer who declined to give his name.

The three-minute hearing was in a small courtroom with seating for about 55 people.

In 2003, Austin founded the Dallas Austin Foundation, which works to train youth for careers in the music and entertainment industries.

Austin has several hits to his credit, including Pink's "Just Like a Pill" and TLC's "Unpretty." He won a Grammy Award for best R&B album in 1999 for producing TLC's multiplatinum "Fanmail."
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Old 07-02-06, 08:11 PM   #10
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Four years doesn't sound that bad compared to what happened to that guy was executed for bringing in drugs to Indonesia or some other SE Asia country.

edit: Ah, nevermind, just saw that they didn't accuse him of trafficking.
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Old 07-03-06, 08:50 AM   #11
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Something tells me a large wire transfer is being made to a Swiss account before he leaves.
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Old 07-03-06, 09:48 PM   #12
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Wow, that's nuts. i think these guys just live in a bubble. Their assistants book them tickets and they just hop on planes and go places without thinking about it. Whereas someone who actually spends a lot of time planning trips for themselves sits at their computers reading up on all sorts of stuff. I guarantee you that he had no idea that the laws there were so strict.
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Old 07-04-06, 08:18 AM   #13
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Pardoned...

Quote:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- The ruler of Dubai has pardoned a Grammy-winning music producer who had been sentenced to four years in prison on charges of carrying cocaine into the country.

Lawyers for Dallas Austin, 33, had planned to appeal his sentence before Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the pardon on Tuesday.

Austin pleaded guilty on Sunday to bringing 1.26 grams of cocaine into Dubai.

The producer behind TLC, one of the biggest R&B groups of the 1990s, also faced deportation once his sentence in the United Arab Emirates has been served.

The New York Daily News reported in late June that Austin has been held in Dubai since May 19, when he was arrested at the airport en route to a birthday party for British supermodel Naomi Campbell at one of the country's hotels.

The U.S. State Department had earlier warned that the UAE's strict anti-drug laws can bring sentences of up to 15 years for simple possession.

Austin won a Grammy in 1999 for the TLC's "Fanmail," which was named the year's best R&B album. He went on to craft songs for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Fishbone, Gwen Stefani and Pink.

He also was a producer on the movies "Drumline," released in 2002, and "ATL," released earlier this year.

A State Department official said the government has been aware of Austin's case and that the U.S. consulate in Dubai was providing all possible assistance.

The official said U.S. privacy laws prevented him from offering further details.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...tin/index.html
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Old 07-04-06, 08:42 AM   #14
Michael T Hudson
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I wonder if the rulers childern are hip hop fans.
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Old 07-04-06, 02:44 PM   #15
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That or they realized that it's bad publicity when you're trying to boost your image as a playground for the rich and famous.
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Old 07-04-06, 02:51 PM   #16
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What a joke!
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Old 07-04-06, 04:59 PM   #17
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Damn, I wonder if the Japanese tourist who got caught with 2 oz of marijuana would get pardoned by this Sheikh.
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