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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rapper DMX convicted of animal cruelty-possibly related to dogfighting.

After receiving an anonymous tip about inhumane conditions for dogs on his property, detectives visited the home of rapper, DMX, and then called one of the rapper's lawyers and told him that the conditions for the animals at the property needed to be improved or deputies would take action. The dogs were not being fed or given water.

Authorities returned to the home days later.

The 36-year-old musician and actor, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was not at home during the raid.

Simmons' lawyer, Murray Richman, said Simmons hasn't been in Arizona for at least two months and was "extremely disturbed" to hear the animals weren't being cared for properly.

"We had a caretaker that wasn't taking care, that's what happened," Richman said. "He loves dogs _ he loves these animals. Those dogs are practically his family."

Richman said he hadn't been notified of problems at the property until he learned of the raid Friday. Sheriff's officials said they had contacted another lawyer who works for DMX.

Arpaio said the deputies who served a search warrant at the home Friday seized 12 pit bulls tied up on the property and took them to an old jail that has been converted into an animal shelter.

Deputies found the buried dogs when they dug up the back yard. One had apparently been burned and the cause of death on the others was unknown because the bodies were decomposing.

Deputies also found a variety of firearms, Arpaio said. Authorities sought additional warrants so they could check the guns to determine if they were legal.

Simmons, 37, was arrested in Miami in August after not reporting to multiple court hearings.  He was extradited to Maricopa County in September and was released on Sept. 13 on a $25,000 bond, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

DMX has reached a plea deal on multiple drug possession, theft and animal cruelty charges.

A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner has set a sentencing hearing for Jan. 30.

As part of the plea agreement, DMX cannot possess firearms or own any animals, and must attend an animal-offender treatment program. If he violates probation, he could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

For more information on this case, please visit 

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