Justin Bieber was granted re-entry into the United States Friday but it was a rough ride in. The superstar’s private plane was searched for several hours by US Customs and Border Protection officials at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport.
A law enforcement source told CNN Bieber’s plane was searched after officials said they smelled what they believed to be marijuana.
No sign of drugs were detected or illegal substances found during the two drug-sniffing dogs assisted search, the source said.
Bieber and a group of passengers – including his father Jeremy – arrived from Toronto’s Pearson International Pearson Airport at 14:53 pm ET.
It’s reported they jetted in ahead of attending the Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday for a round of pre-game parties in New Jersey.
The 19-year-old was isolated his crew and escorted away from the jet to be interviewed by US Customs and Border Protection officers, an airport employee told New York Daily News Confidenti@l.
“He was taken away in an unmarked police vehicle and was being detained,” the employee said Friday.
Bieber’s interview was described by another law enforcement source to CNN as one that is carried out for anyone entering the US. Lengths of such probes can vary from 10 minutes to 10 hours and are routinely conducted to ensure people entering the US are in compliance with its laws, the source said.
By 18:00 pm officials were still investigating, a law enforcement source told The News.
Agents finally decided to admit the star and his party after a reported five hour delay.
TMZ reported officials flagged the plane because Bieber has two pending criminal cases, while WNBC said the singer’s ability to return to the States hinged on whether he has been convicted of a crime. While Bieber is facing criminal charges – on Wednesday he pleaded not guilty ahead of an arraignment for a DUI and related charges in Florida, and has been charged with assault in Canada – he has not been convicted.
The Teterboro search comes just days after the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released a preliminary toxicology report and other documents revealed chemicals found in marijuana, Xanax, and a negligible amount of alcohol were present in Bieber’s system at the time of his DUI while allegedly drag racing in Miami Beach last Thursday.
He was charged with assault after turning himself in to Toronto police Wednesday evening in connection with an allegation that he hit a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head in December last year. He has been given a March 10 court date.
An unidentified source close to Bieber reportedly told TMZ he did not assault the driver and said the assault was committed by one of his friends in the limo.
In addition, Steve Salem, the manager at VIP Limousine Toronto told the Toronto Sun “What I heard… [the assault] wasn’t directly from Justin. He was involved, but it was others.”
“Entourage for sure. I can confirm that,” Salem added.
Later that Wednesday, Justin’s California lawyer, Howard Weitzman released a statement, which said:
“We anticipate that this matter will be treated as a summary offense, the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States.”
“Our position is Mr. Bieber is innocent,” Weitzman declared.
The pop prince remains a suspect in an felony vandalism investigation related to a house egging incident in his Calabasas, California, neighborhood.