Austin “Chumlee” Russell, of History Channel’s reality TV show Pawn Stars, was arrested in early March on felony drug charges. He remained completely silent on social media until recently when he opened a new Instagram account. Chumlee has posted 10 photos as of the writing of this article, none of them mentioning his legal issues, Pawn Stars, or anyone or anything related to Pawn Stars.
Back on March 9, police officers went to Chumlee’s home with a search warrant. The warrant was obtained in relation to charges of sexual assault that were brought against Chumlee by a woman who works at the same pawn shop, the Gold & Silver Pawn shop, the store that is the focus of Pawn Stars. There hasn’t been much released about any developments related to the sexual assault charges, but the police report created when officers searched Chumlee’s Las Vegas home was released, and TMZ reported on its contents.
As if sexual assault charges weren’t enough to deal with, a large amount of weapons, drugs, and drug paraphernalia were found in Chumlee’s home. Large enough amounts that officers believed that he may have been dealing drugs out of his home. He was arrested that day but was soon released on a $62,000 bail. Now the reality TV star faces 20 felony charges.
Among the items found by police officers were:
1 gallon Ziploc with 116 grams (1/4 pound) of marijuana
– 2 clear jars of marijuana (8.2 grams and 2.8 grams)
– 1 bag with 4.4 grams marijuana
– 7 clear capsules with 1.7 grams of methamphetamine powder
– 17 Xanax bars
In addition, officers found 12 firearms, only four of which were registered to Chumlee (whose real name is Austin Russell), and ammunition. USA Today reported that officers included this note in the report they filed following their search.
“It should also be noted that the amount of narcotics, narcotics paraphernalia and narcotics-related items found throughout the residence suggests (Russell) openly allows and participates in the unlawful use and possession of narcotics. Many of these items are commonly found with persons who package and sell controlled substances, i.e., plastic baggies and digital scales.”
As previously mentioned, nothing has been heard from Chumlee in the nearly two months since these charges were filed. Chumlee also earns income as a DJ, but canceled his scheduled gigs immediately following the charges. The day before the search of his home, he posted to Twitter saying he would have many shoes from his large collection of sneakers up for sale on eBay soon because he would be in need of some cash in coming months. It’s not clear at this time what he anticipated needing the cash for, but he does currently have several pairs of shoes for sale on eBay.
Chumlee also has not been seen at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop since March 9, leading to speculation that he was fired. This rumor has not been confirmed at this time. Rick Harrison, who is co-owner of the pawn shop, has said that he will help Chumlee in whatever way he can. The two have a relationship that goes beyond the television show. Chumlee and Rick’s son, Corey Harrison, have been close friends since childhood.
To date, the History Channel has not commented on Chumlee’s legal problems. Fans have wondered if the charges will affect the future of the show. Will the show be canceled because of them? There hasn’t been any word on that at this point.
Austin “Chumlee” Russell is 33-years-old. His attorneys for this case are David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld. They issued this statement regarding the case against Chumlee.
“We will be analyzing what was allegedly found and whether the alleged seizure was lawful in a courtroom, not in the media. Austin (Chumlee’s real name) has great faith in the judicial system, as do we, and looks forward to a just resolution of this matter.”
Chumlee is scheduled to appear in court on May 23. You can follow him on Instagram under his new account here.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]