Kevin Barnes, who performed as Chopper on MTV's Making the Band reality series during the early 2000s, was arrested in Maryland and extradited to Las Vegas Monday to face sex trafficking charges. Barnes, 37, allegedly contacted an undercover police officer posing as a sex worker on Instagram with an offer to make money as a prostitute. He allegedly told the officer he had seven homes across the country and said it was difficult to do business in Las Vegas with authorities cracking down.
According to legal documents TMZ obtained Monday, Barnes began communicating with the undercover officer on social media. Police then searched his profile, where they found several posts about prostitution and pimping. Barnes showed off his wealth in many of the images, including one where he sat on a private plane. Police then began investigating Barnes for possibly running a sex trafficking operation, the undercover officer said.
Kevin Barnes, 37, aka "Choppa" was arrested for one count of Sex Trafficking. Detectives seek additional victims.— LVMPD (@LVMPD) April 26, 2022
Anyone who was contacted by Barnes to become a sex worker or is a victim of sex trafficking is urged to contact police.
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Barnes allegedly told the officer he had seven homes across the U.S., including one in Las Vegas. He allegedly told the officer he knew Las Vegas was "not a safe place to do business" because authorities were becoming more stringent on shutting down prostitution. Barnes and the officer also had a phone conversation, during which he allegedly said he could make the officer a member of his "team" and "stable" if they passed a "test."
The former reality TV star was "aggressive" with the officer on the phone as he ordered them around like a sex worker. Barnes allegedly told the officer to pack their stuff and fly immediately to Charlotte, North Carolina, so they could join his "stable." The undercover officer told Barnes they were afraid to leave home, so Barnes became angry and demanded a $2,000 fee.
After the communication on social media, the phone call, and Barnes' fee demand, the undercover officer believed there was enough evidence to charge him. Barnes was charged with felony sex trafficking of an adult. According to Anne Arundel County, Maryland police's Twitter page, he was arrested there. Barnes was booked into the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas on Monday, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.
Making the Band was an MTV reality series that aired in the early 2000s. The series featured Sean "Diddy" Combs attempting to create a group with unproven artists, including Barnes, who performed as Chopper. After the show, Barnes signed a record deal with Bad Boy reports XXL. Although Barnes is no longer with the label, he continued releasing music, including the 2018 album Man on Mars through MOE Entertainment and the 2021 single "Payback."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.