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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Rapper Snoop Dogg in gun quiz
Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg won an accolade at the Bet awards ceremony

Rap artist Snoop Dogg could face firearms charges after allegedly riding to an awards show with armed bodyguards in a bullet-proof van equipped with gun ports.

Three of his bodyguards were arrested after the rapper got out of his vehicle in front of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood to attend the third annual Black Entertainment Television (Bet) Awards.

Snoop Dogg is a convicted felon after a drug offence in 1990, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or from hiring armed security, federal authorities said.

Authorities in Los Angeles said they were considering possible firearms charges against the 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Calvin Broadus.

Officers watching the front of the theatre saw Mr Broadus get out with several individuals with bullet-proof vests
Lieutenant Art Miller, Los Angeles police
Lieutenant Art Miller, of Los Angeles Police, described Snoop Dogg's transport as "an Econoline van on steroids", with armoured sidewalls, bullet-proof glass and gun ports.

"Officers watching the front of the theatre saw Mr Broadus get out with several individuals with bullet-proof vests, and that immediately raised suspicion," said Lieutenant Miller.

Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives detained and searched 13 people.

They recovered seven handguns, including one with a laser sight and another with an extended magazine with a capacity of 30 bullets.

Three of the men were arrested, two on outstanding misdemeanour warrants and one on a parole violation. The rest were questioned and released.

Snoop went on to win Bet's best collaboration award for the song Beautiful, featuring Pharrell.

In April Snoop Dogg was questioned after a gunman in a speeding car opened fire on a motorcade carrying the rapper and his bodyguards.

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