Hip-hop fans in New Jersey and around the country may know David Lawrence Brewster Jr. better by his stage name Dave East. East’s debut album “Survival” reached number 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in November 2019, but the 32-year-old rapper was the subject of a different kind of media story on May 22. That was when mainstream newspapers and celebrity gossip websites reported that East had been taken into custody in New York City on disorderly conduct and drug possession charges.

East’s problems began when officers from the New York City Police Department pulled over an SUV in Long Island City for failing to signal before making a turn. East was a back-seat passenger in the SUV according to reports. The situation escalated when the officers allegedly detected the odor or marijuana inside the vehicle. Officers say that East and another passenger became belligerent when they were asked to produce identification even though the man behind the wheel of the SUV complied with their instructions.

The officers searched the SUV based on the marijuana smell. This search is said to have led to the discovery of about six bags containing a substance believed to be marijuana. East was taken to an NYPD facility in Astoria and issued with two tickets. He was then released. The vehicle’s driver was not cited according to reports.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely advise individuals to remain calm during traffic stops even when a search of their vehicle is likely to lead to drug possession charges. Not only could a combative attitude make it more difficult for an attorney to negotiate a favorable plea agreement, but it could also give police officers another reason to conduct a search. In these situations, an attorney may suggest being courteous and polite while declining to make any statements or answer any questions.