Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2016

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‘Pawn Stars’ celeb Chumlee arrested during raid, faces drug charges

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Denise Truscello/WireImage/DeniseTruscello.net

Austin “Chumlee” Russell arrives at the 2013 Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. The “Pawn Stars” star was arrested on drug and gun charges Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Updated Wednesday, March 9, 2016 | 7:16 p.m.

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Austin Lee Russell, better known as "Chumlee" from the "Pawn Stars" television show, was booked into Clark County Detention Center on drug and gun charges on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

The man known to millions of cable TV viewers as Chumlee on the reality show "Pawn Stars" was being held late Wednesday in a Las Vegas jail following his arrest on felony weapon and drug charges.

Austin Lee Russell, 33, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday. His bail was set at $62,000.

He is facing 19 drug possession charges and one count of possession of a gun by a prohibited person, jail logs show.

Metro Police say they were serving a search warrant in a sexual assault investigation when they discovered methamphetamine, marijuana and firearms in his southwest Las Vegas Valley home.

Russell has not been charged in the sexual assault case. Officer Larry Hadfield, a Metro spokesman, said that part of the investigation stemmed from a recent complaint by a woman, and it is continuing.

It wasn't immediately clear if Russell had a lawyer.

"Pawn Stars" co-star Rick Harrison said, "We don't have details yet but are here to help Chumlee however we can."

A spokesman for A&E Network and the History Channel declined by email to comment.

Russell, who boasts a strong Twitter following and has his own merchandise line, says his personality on the show has made him a fan favorite.

“People can relate to me, and they root for me because on the show I am the dumb guy, the one who is a little rougher around the edges,” he told the Sun's John Katsilometes in 2014. “When people come in the store, they want to give me a hug and say hi. They want to see the Old Man sitting in his chair, they want to talk to Rick about whatever item they have. They interact with us differently … But me, I’m the guy they want to hug.”

Russell had a humble upbringing and had to deal with the loss of his father, who died in 2009 at age 54 of pancreatic cancer, just weeks before the premiere episode of “Pawn Stars.”

Sun writer John Katsilometes and the Associated Press’ Ken Ritter contributed to this report.

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