A member of chart-topping Atlanta rap group Dem Franchize Boyz was one of eight people arrested Tuesday evening in a drug raid at an Atlanta recording studio.
Maurice “Parlae” Gleaton, 23, was charged with trafficking marijuana, police said. Atlanta police and other agencies said they seized 11 pounds of marijuana, two handguns and more than $160,000 in cash.
Several of the suspects saw police on a video surveillance system at the studio and were attempting to flush the marijuana down a toilet when they were arrested, police said.
Melissa Victor, a publicist for the group, said Gleaton was present at the studio, but committed no crime.
“Based on what we know, the facts will show that Parlae will be exonerated of any charges in this matter,” she said. She said a video recording of the arrest would help clear him.
Gleaton’s attorney, Sandra Brown, did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday afternoon.
The group’s single, “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” has spent the past 25 weeks on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart, peaking at No. 1. Their album, “On Top of Our Game,” has sold more than 500,000 copies, spending 17 weeks on the Billboard chart and also reaching the top spot.
The group is considered among the originators of “snap,” a hip-hop style known for its minimal instrumentation and repetitive, dance-friendly beat.
The lyrics to “Lean Wit It” include several apparent references to marijuana. They mention “green grams in my sock,” and include the lines “smoke some green with it” and “call me Teddy/I’ve got grams.”
In an Associated Press interview last month, Gleaton, who said he produced “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” in about 45 minutes, was celebrating the group’s success.
“It’s not too many folks out there who can make a hit song in a short time like that,” Parlae said. “We’re on top of the world right now and kings of the snap.”
The seven others charged in the raid include Anthony Blalock, 27, CEO of Making Big Moves Entertainment in Atlanta. Blalock, who owns the recording studio, is charged with trafficking marijuana and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, said Atlanta police spokesman Peter Coleman.
He said the raid, by local, state and federal authorities, was part of an anti-drug task force.
The suspects were to be formally charged Wednesday in an Atlanta court.