In the ’80s, the sibling group DeBarge was nearly inescapable on R&B radio, with songs such as “I Like It” and “Rhythm Of The Night” dominating the airwaves and turning El, Bunny, Randy, James, Bobby, Mark, and Chico into more or less household names (depending on your household). However, their reign came to a pretty abrupt end at the end of the decade; between changing tastes and two members, Bobby and Chico, getting arrested for drug trafficking in 1989, the group was disbanded before the ’90s.
This week, it appears that their past troubles have resurfaced for one member, El DeBarge, who was arrested for possession of illegal weapons and narcotics in Burbank, California on Sunday (January 8), according to TMZ. DeBarge was reportedly stopped at a gas station at around 3:30 am when police officers noticed expired registration on his vehicle. When they went to check it out, they say they saw a collapsible baton in plain sight inside it, prompting an additional search. Collapsible batons are banned for civilian use in California; meanwhile, the search turned up what the officers suspected were narcotics believed to be heroin along with pepper spray. DeBarge didn’t have a valid driver’s license either.
He was booked on possession of a controlled substance; possession of a leaded cane or baton; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Unfortunately, El DeBarge has a history of legal problems and substance addiction. In 2001, he was arrested for cocaine possession, then in 2006 and 2007, arrested on separate charges of possession of a controlled substance. Each time, he was given probation, but in 2008, he was sentenced to two years in state prison for possession of crack cocaine and violating his probation, serving 13 months. He spent a few stints in rehab, but hasn’t had any run-ins with the law since 2012.