Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs raid: Man alleged to be rap mogul’s ‘mule’ arrested on drug charges

MIAMI — An Ohio man described in a lawsuit as a “mule” for Sean “Diddy” Combs was arrested in South Florida on Monday as federal agents raided the rap mogul’s homes in Miami Beach and Los Angeles.

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Brendan Paul, 25, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was taken into custody at Miami-Opa ocka Executive Airport, the Miami Herald reported.

According to Miami-Dade County online court records, Paul was charged with one count of cocaine possession and one count of possession of a controlled substance. His arrest was not related to Monday’s federal raids on Combs’ mansions on Star Island in Miami Beach and in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, according to the newspaper.

He was also listed in Miami-Dade online court records as “Brendon Paul.”

Paul was arrested shortly before a plane linked to Combs, 54, took off for Antigua, the Herald reported.

Officers with the Miami-Dade Police Department said they found suspected cocaine and marijuana candy in Paul’s possession, according to WPLG-TV.

“Arresting officers claimed Paul had “the contraband inside his personal travel bags … (and) the suspect cocaine was located and tested,” Rolling Stone reported, citing an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit did not mention Combs, according to the Herald.

The raids came a month after Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones Jr. filed a lawsuit against Combs in a Manhattan federal district court, The New York Times reported. Jones alleged that Combs, his staff and music executives knew about -- and were also involved in -- illicit and unwanted sexual activities in Florida, New York, California and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the Herald.

In his complaint, Jones describes a man named Brendan Paul as “Mr. Combs’ Mule,” according to the newspaper. The man named in the lawsuit was also referred to as an alleged distributor of Combs’ drugs and weapons. The man arrested and the complaint spell Paul’s first name slightly differently, as “Brendon,” the Herald reported.

Jones claims that he “personally witnessed” Paul transport or intend to transport illegal substances in his baggage while traveling between Los Angeles, Miami, Virginia, the Caribbean and London in December 2022, April 2023 and November 2023, Rolling Stone reported, citing the lawsuit.

Four separate plaintiffs have also filed civil lawsuits against Combs accusing him of rape, sex trafficking a minor and assault, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Other defendants named in Jones’ lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are Combs’ chief of staff Kristina Khorram; his adult son, Justin Combs; Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge; and former Motown Records CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam, according to Rolling Stone and NBC News.

On Monday, Jones’ amended lawsuit accused Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. of sexual assault, the Herald reported.

Gooding, 56, had been previously named in Jones’ lawsuit in February but had not been listed as a defendant until Monday, according to the newspaper.

According to WSTM-TV, Paul was a walk-on basketball player at Syracuse for his freshman and sophomore seasons. He appeared in 17 games for limited minutes. The television station reported that Paul transferred to Fairmount State University in West Virginia in 2020, where he played his junior and senior years.

Paul was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, online records show. He posted $2,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on April 24.

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