HOUSTON – Two Houston rappers arrested in a drug raid last December were no-billed by a Harris county grand jury Tuesday.
Paul “Paul Wall” Slayton and Ronald “Baby Bash” Bryant were among 10 people arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. The arrests were made by Houston police Dec. 22 at a smoke shop in the 1300 block of Yale Street.
On Tuesday, a grand jury declined to indict Slayton, Bryant and three other defendants.
The two rappers said they were at the shop to promote a toy drive put on by a charity called “Parents Against Predators.” Slayton is a member of the organization's board.
“It happened to be at a smoke shop, which is legal by the way,” Slayton’s attorney, Jolanda Jones said. “And for whatever reason the police came in thinking things about people, and I think they rushed to judgment.”
“The case has so much negative attention to myself, to my family.” Slayton said. “You know my kids have been bullied at school because of it. My friend John here, he got evicted from the smoke shop and he was out of business.”
Shop owner John Sanchez said he lost his business and had to cut back employees’ salaries as a result of the raid. Sanchez has since reopened at a new location.
“A lot of people lost and a lot of people got hurt over it,” Sanchez said.
Bryant was out of town when the no-bills were returned, but his attorney says it was the right decision.
“We’re happy that the DA’s office presented what we gave them to the grand jury so the grand jury could make the right decision,” attorney Carl Moore said.
The organized crime charges against five remain defendants were also dropped, but all five were indicted by the grand jury for drug possession charges ranging from first degree to state jail felonies.
Grand jury proceedings are secret, so no public explanation was given why charges against those five were changed, or the charges against the rappers and three others were dropped.