For over two months now, the millions of fans of the most popular History Channel television show want to know the status of their favorite reality star. Will Chumlee return to Pawn Stars?
Since his March 9 arrest, there have been rumors circulating around Chum’s status on the show and conflicting reports that he was fired.
Now, Chumlee has less than a week before his May 23 court date. He was charged with 19 counts. This included 12 weapons — rifles, revolvers, handguns, and shotguns, some of which were loaded — a great deal of marijuana (just over 131 grams), 17 Xanax bars, and seven meth capsules. This evidence was found in the “Chum Chum” room, in a vault, and in a room safe. Chum was very cooperative with authorities.
Even with all of this evidence, will Chumlee return to Pawn Stars? It may all be up to the drug-related charges.
When they found all of the stashes of pot, Chumlee explained to officers that he “smoked a lot of weed.” USA Today reported that he told the officers he smokes four ounces at a time. As a basic estimate, four ounces is about 113.39 grams, and this amount would only be enough for a single use before Chum needed to purchase more weed.
While marijuana has become more and more accepted and legalized in several states, it appears that the question comes down to whether or not Chumlee was selling drugs.
The criminal report indicates a strong suspicion that he was using drugs based on the quantities and admission from Chumlee that he smoked pot.
“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.”
The report also mentioned the evidence that they found that made it appear that Chumlee was dealing drugs.
“Many of these items are commonly found with persons who package and sell controlled substances, i.e., plastic baggies and digital scales.”
Why would a successful guy who was worth a reported $5 million dollars and making $25,000 per episode of Pawn Stars sell pot from his home? His attorneys could argue that this amount of pot may seem like a lot for a single-user living paycheck to paycheck but not for someone who is affluent. In addition, if he was actually selling pot, he would most likely have a much higher quantity of weed.
Much has been made of the fact that only four of the 12 weapons found were actually registered to Austin Lee Russell, better known to us as Chumlee. When presented in court, could this be much ado about nothing because of Nevada laws? Just less than a year ago, Nevada state law was altered, and handguns no longer require registration with the passage of SB 175. On June 2, 2015, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed that bill into law. Long-arms were not included in this bill, as they already didn’t require registration.
Yet, the presence of drugs indicated to officers that Chumlee was violating the law “prohibiting possession of a gun by a user or addict of any controlled substance.” Odds are that the officers collected all of the weaponry to build a drug case against the 33-year-old reality star. In order for Chum to work at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop and ultimately return to Pawn Stars, he cannot be a felon. This is most likely in the back of the minds of Chum’s attorneys — to bring Chum back to the lifestyle he was accustomed to.
Off right now but we will be back filming soon https://t.co/Fx4tdtBePb
— Austin Russell (@chumlee_) May 10, 2016
All of these charges stem from a search warrant for a sexual assault. Some reports say that this allegedly occurred at the pawn shop, yet the police went to Chum’s home to search for this evidence. Along with the drugs and guns, police did take fiber samples from Chumlee’s home and blood from the TV star. However, the assault allegedly took place at the pawn shop where Pawn Stars is filmed. This is a place that has several security cameras and surveillance everywhere due to the amount of valuables stored inside the shop, so why would police go to his home? As of now, more than two months after the arrest, no sexual assault charges have been made against Chumlee.
The question remains: Is it possible for these drug and gun charges to be dropped, allowing the Chumlee the freedom to return to Pawn Stars? Could there be a logical explanation as to why Chumlee had an arsenal of weaponry? Odds are, his attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, are working on those very issues.
As of now, the History Channel has not said anything about Chum’s fate, and Rick Harrison has promised that they will help Chumlee “any way we can.”
Do you think Chumlee will be back on Pawn Stars?
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]