DMX, “Dog Years” (Originally Published January/February 2009)

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[January 11, 2008]
DMX is ordered to pay $1.5 million in damages to Maryland native Monique Wayne, who sued in October 2006 for defamation, false statements and unreasonable publicity, after X told Sister 2 Sister magazine that she raped him while he was sleeping. The suit, however, will be dismissed on appeal in May, and X won’t have to pay.

[March 2008]
DMX is stopped for speeding in Cave Creek, Arizona, where he reportedly owes more than $3,600 in traffic fines.

[April 2008]
DMX is arrested for a firearms violation and driving with a suspended license, after allegedly failing to pay an entry fee at a park in Arizona’s Maricopa County. According to County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, X “tried to run away [and] destroyed some of the park resources.”

[May 6, 2008]
DMX is arrested by officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety on charges of racing on a highway, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, two counts of endangerment and three counts of criminal speed. The arrest comes after photos taken by traffic cameras along a freeway in Scottsdale in January catch X driving a yellow ’66 Chevy Nova II at 114 miles per hour. The speed limit there is 65.

[May 9, 2008]
Around 3 a.m., Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies, on a search warrant, perform a second raid on DMX’s Scottsdale home, where they reportedly find five malnourished dogs and marijuana. X is arrested on four counts of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia.

A previous raid, which took place in August 2007, uncovered a dozen malnourished pit bulls and drugs, leading to seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and four counts of felony drug possession. “I’m very tough on animal cruelty,” says Sheriff Arpaio. “If you look at his history, in ’99, I think he had 13 animal-cruelty charges, pleaded guilty and took fines. So if you look at it, he’s got a pretty long record.”

According to X’s uncle and former manager Ray Copeland, X had appointed a caretaker, when he moved in, to look after the home and the dogs while he was away. “The caretaker left the house abruptly ’cause of some situation he got involved in,” says Copeland, adding that animal abuse is not in his nephew’s character. “X treats dogs better than he treats humans. That guy’s the best dog lover in the world.”

[May 16, 2008]
DMX pleads not guilty to charges stemming from the 2007 raid.

[June 23, 2008]
DMX is arrested in Miami for driving with a suspended license and later released, after posting a $500 bond. On recommendation from his longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, he hires attorney Bradford Cohen (a former contestant on The Apprentice, who has represented Vanilla Ice and Dennis Rodman) to handle his case in Miami. Cohen finds no record of X having a license at all, so the charge is switched to driving without a valid license. X later receives a $200 fine, and the case is closed.

[June 27, 2008]
DMX is arrested in Miami for attempting to purchase cocaine and marijuana. Police reports state that X approached an undercover officer and asked for “30 powder and 15 weed.” X is handcuffed after handing over the cash and faces up to five years if convicted.

X’s longtime friend and former road manager Mark “Po” Dean (brother of Ruff Ryders founders Dee and Waah Dean) was there. He and X were driving in a rented jeep, Po says, on their way to the Hollywood Beach part of Miami. On the way, X stopped to meet up with an associate from Arizona at an apartment complex. “As we went inside, it was just a strange eerie feeling he had,” Po remembers. “And he was like, ‘You know what, these dudes, they look funny. They don’t look like regular dudes that’s been around.’ When he got out the vehicle, I didn’t go with him. He walked around the corner, and then the next thing I know, they came back around the corner, said they was arresting him. He didn’t mention that he was trying to go do anything.”

“I didn’t buy no coke,” says X. “Everybody knows what I have a problem with. Why would I buy coke?