Chinese comedian faces weapons, drugs charges

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Chinese comedian faces weapons, drugs charges

MINEOLA, N.Y. - A popular Chinese comedian and former judge on the “China’s Got Talent” television program is facing weapon and drug charges on Long Island in New York.

Zhou Libo appeared playful and jovial, joking with more than a dozen reporters from Chinese media outlets before and after a brief appearance in a Nassau County courtroom on Friday.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a Jan. 19 arrest in the exclusive village of Lattingtown, east of New York City on what is known as Long Island’s “gold coast.”

Police said officers stopped a black Mercedes Benz that Zhou was driving shortly after midnight because “it was being driven erratically and the operator was using a cellphone.” They said the 49-year-old Zhou had a passenger with him.

Officers said they noticed a shoulder holster in the back seat and found a loaded pistol and two plastic bags containing crack cocaine inside a backpack. He and the passenger were arrested.

Attorney Hugh Mo declined to comment on the allegations after the case was adjourned to June 9.

“He’s taking the charges seriously,” the attorney said. “He does have confidence in the judicial system; he does have confidence in his lawyer; he does have confidence in the fact that hopefully at the end of the day we’re going to come out and hopefully resolve this to his satisfaction.”

Authorities have not disclosed why the popular Chinese comedian was in the ritzy community near Long Island Sound on the night of his arrest. He is believed to have a residence in Alpine, New Jersey.

Last July, the Shanghai native performed his stand up routine at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The Carnegie Hall website noted he is a pioneer of political parody in mainland China. It said in 2012, he received the Starlight Award, the highest honor in China’s television arts.

He served as a judge on the popular “China’s Got Talent” program in 2010 and 2011.

AP
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