The man known to millions of cable TV viewers as “Chumlee” on the reality showPawn Stars was being held late Wednesday in a Las Vegas jail following his arrest on felony weapon and drug charges.
Austin Lee Russell, 33, was taken into custody when officers serving a search warrant in a sexual assault investigation found methamphetamine, marijuana and at least one gun at his southwest Las Vegas home, police said in a statement.
A spokesman for History parent A+E Networks said the company had no comment.
Neither did series producer Leftfield Pictures.
Production wrapped February 24 on the 12th season of Pawn Stars, which quickly became History’s most popular series after its June 2009 premiere.
And the burly regular everyone calls “Chumlee” became an instant fan favorite.
At its height, the series drew 7 million viewers. During its 10th season in 2015, it averaged 1.8 million viewers in Live+Same Day.
The series spurred spinoffs and offshoots at the cable net — including Counting Carsand American Restoration — and created a reality subgenre about pawn brokers and their stores.
the series revolves around four main characters: store owner Rick Harrison, his father and shop founder Richard “Old Man” Harrison, son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, and the latter’s childhood friend Russell who earned the “Chumlee” nickname from the walrus sidekick in the old CBS cartoon series Tennessee Tuxedo.