Brendan Paul, Alleged Drug Mule for Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Faces Felony Cocaine Possession Charges

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Sean “Diddy” Combs’ alleged drug mule, Brendan Paul, has been charged with felony cocaine possession following his arrest last month. The arrest came amid ongoing federal sex trafficking accusations facing the hip-hop mogul. Though Paul was initially charged with felony possession of marijuana-laced candy, that charge has since been dropped, according to court documents.

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PEOPLE can confirm that Paul’s attorney, Brian Bieber, entered a plea of not guilty during a “very brief” hearing at the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday, April 24. The 25-year-old’s attorney issued a statement saying, “We will be dealing with this case in the courtroom, not the court of public opinion.” The next hearing is scheduled for May 17.

Paul, a former Syracuse University basketball player, was arrested on Monday, March 27, for possession of cocaine and marijuana, both felonies. According to an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, Paul was taken into custody at Opa-Locka airport by Miami-Dade police working alongside Homeland Security agents. They raided Combs’ two homes around the same time as the arrest, the affidavit stated. Paul was allegedly carrying cocaine and marijuana in his travel bags when he was arrested.

Paul was previously named in a civil sexual assault lawsuit filed by Combs’ former producer and videographer, Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones. Jones claimed that Paul was Combs’ “mule” who “acquires” and “distributes” his “drugs and guns.” Paul’s bond was set at $2,500.

The connection between Paul’s arrest and Combs remains unclear, though Combs’ lawyer, Aaron Dyer, emphasized in a statement to PEOPLE on March 27 that “We do not plan on trying this case in the media — all issues will be dealt with in court.”

In a separate but related development, federal agents raided Combs’ Miami and Los Angeles homes on Monday, March 24, as part of an ongoing investigation into sex trafficking allegations brought against Combs. FOX11 broadcasted aerial footage showing Combs’ two sons, Justin Combs, 30, and Christian ‘King’ Combs, 26, handcuffed outside their Beverly Hills home, speaking with authorities.

Meanwhile, Combs’ private jet reportedly landed in Antigua during the same period, while he was spotted at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport with Paul.

A representative from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) provided a brief comment on the raids, stating, “Earlier today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners. We will provide further information as it becomes available.”

Combs’ attorney, Aaron Dyer, criticized the authorities’ approach during the raids, describing it as “a gross overuse of military-level force.” He added, “There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated.”

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