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Singer charged in coke case

Girlicious member tells police she hasn’t used cocaine or any other drugs.

March 11, 2010|By Veronica Rocha

Prosecutors filed a drug-sales charge Thursday morning against pop singer Natalie Mejia, a member of the group Girlicious, after Glendale police found more than a dozen small packages of cocaine in her Gucci purse during a traffic stop, officials said.

Mejia, who was released on bail Wednesday, was charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance for sale, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

The 21-year-old Diamond Bar resident is expected to be arraigned April 15 in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale, she said.

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Mejia told police “she has not used cocaine or any other drugs,” Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Mejia and Burbank resident Peter Asencio, 28, were arrested Tuesday night after a Glendale police officer stopped his Ford Mustang for speeding at Victory Boulevard and Winchester Avenue just before it got onto the Ventura (134) Freeway, he said.

The pair had been having dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen in Burbank, Lorenz said. They were rushing to get to Los Angeles International Airport because she was late for a flight, he added. Mejia and her group were scheduled to perform Friday in Toronto.

During the traffic stop, police discovered that Asencio’s driver’s license was suspended, so they searched the car, Lorenz said.

Police found the baggies of cocaine in Mejia’s purse during the search, he said. Asencio told police that he was trying to hide the drugs in her purse, Lorenz said.

“It is apparent that he did not know that her purse would eventually be searched,” he said.

She and Asencio were arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine for sale. Mejia was not under the influence of drugs during the arrest, Lorenz said.

Asencio was also arrested on suspicion of driving on a suspended driver’s license.

He was already on probation in another case, according to a criminal complaint.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale, court officials said.

The Police Department’s forensics team is still analyzing the packages and chemical substance to determine if it might be some other drug, Lorenz said.

Mejia was a contestant on the 2008 CW reality show, “Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious.” She beat out other contestants to become a member of the all-girl group.


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