State and local authorities searched the Encino home of hip-hop producer Mally Mall Wednesday in connection with investigations into human trafficking and the trafficking of exotic animals.
The warrant was served early Wednesday morning in the 4000 block of Grimes Place by personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to the LAPD.
According to TMZ.com, the “Love and Hip Hop” star was home at the time of the raid. The website initially reported that Mall appeared to have been arrested, but Mall told TMZ later he was only detained during the search, but was not arrested.
According to Mall’s website, he has worked with artists such as Tyga, Drake, Justin Bieber, Future, Sean Kingston, and Snoop Dogg.
Fish and Wildlife officials on the scene said investigators found an African serval — a large cat resembling a spotted leopard — inside the home. TMZ reported that a Tamarin monkey was also seized.
Michele Budish, a warden with state Fish and Wildlife, told reporters celebrities who obtain such exotic animals exacerbate problems of trafficking when they post photos of them on social media. Mally Mall posted a photo of himself with what appears to be a serval on Instagram about two months ago, and his page also includes at least one photo with a monkey.
“When people openly display these animals on their social media accounts, it creates a market for them, and as you can already assume, if the demand goes up the price for these animals go up,” Budish said. “And these animals are taken from the wild and from their native habitat and they’re trafficked. Again, we really need the public’s help. Wildlife trafficking will not be tolerated in this state.”
Singer Chris Brown, who has worked with Mall, was charged with a pair of misdemeanors late last year for allegedly possessing a capuchin monkey without a permit. Brown allegedly posted a photo online of his daughter holding the monkey, possibly prompting the state investigation.
LAPD officials confirmed they were conducting a search at Mall’s home in relation to a human-trafficking investigation, but details were not released.
In 2014, federal agents raided Mall’s home and office in Las Vegas in connection with a human-trafficking probe, but authorities at the time also declined to release details, saying the warrants were filed under seal.
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