Friday, Oct. 1, 2010 | 4:25 p.m.
Criminal drug possession charges were filed Friday against hip-hop performer Peter Hernandez, who performs under the name Bruno Mars, for an incident earlier this month at a bathroom in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Hernandez faces a penalty of one to four years in the Nevada Department of Corrections and may also be fined up to $5,000, according to Tess Driver, spokeswoman for the Clark County District Attorney’s office. However, Driver said, if Hernandez has no prior convictions, the court could also suspend the sentence and grant mandatory probation.
Hernandez' arraignment date is scheduled for Nov. 18 in Las Vegas Justice Court.
The performer was arrested Sept. 19 at the Hard Rock for possession of cocaine and was released the same day.
According to an arrest report, police responded about 1:50 a.m. Sept. 19 to the hotel after a bathroom attendant saw Hernandez “taking a really long time” in a bathroom stall, possibly using drugs. The attendant informed hotel security, who found Hernandez and asked him to hand over whatever narcotics he had on him.
Security placed Hernandez in a holding cell after he gave up 2.6 grams of a “white powdery substance” believed to be cocaine, police said. When Metro arrived at the scene, Hernandez admitted he did “a foolish thing” and said he had never used drugs before.
The crooner's "Just the Way You Are" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.