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Feds taking over case against former Panic! at the Disco bassist

Updated February 17, 2021 - 12:36 pm

Federal prosecutors are taking over a drug and weapons case filed in Las Vegas against the original bassist for Panic! at the Disco, according to the musician’s attorney.

“It is my understanding that the federal government is going to pick this case up,” Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman said during a status hearing for Brent Wilson, a founding member of the Las Vegas-born band.

“They are picking up the case. It will probably be indicted Tuesday or Thursday,” Wilson’s defense attorney, Dustin Marcello, responded.

Wilson, 33, appeared in court in shackles and jail garb, his hair hanging over his mask. He has been in custody at the Clark County Detention Center since his Jan. 22 arrest on three counts of possession of narcotics and one count of unlawful possession of a gun. Felons are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm in Nevada.

Marcello said the federal government likely was interested in the case because of Wilson’s social status.

“He has some amount of notoriety. He’s semi-famous, so they get more out of prosecuting somebody that more people are going to see,” he said. “There’s some amount of a deterrence effect. They want other people that may follow him to say, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not going to do anything like that.’ ”

The federal government’s interest in the case was revealed last week during a brief Las Vegas Justice Court hearing for Wilson.

Court records show that Wilson pleaded guilty in July 2018 to possession of a controlled substance and was in violation of his curfew — a condition of his probation — at the time of his arrest last month.

The musician was taken into custody after a Las Vegas police officer pulled him over near Sahara Avenue and Fort Apache Road. Police said Wilson had driven across three lanes of traffic without using a turn signal, failing to yield to oncoming traffic.

During the traffic stop, according to Wilson’s arrest report, officers found “a white powder substance” and an unregistered handgun in the center console of the driver’s car, as well as a “small baggy” containing what appeared to be heroin in his pants pocket.

Wilson played with Panic! at the Disco through 2006, when he was fired. At the time, drummer Spencer Smith told MTV the decision was “based on Brent’s lack of responsibility.”

Wilson told MTV that he “was kicked out of the band. It was 100 percent a surprise to me.”

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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