Singer Mars charged with felony drug possession

Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars was charged with a felony Friday in connection with his arrest last month at the Hard Rock Hotel.

The charge of possession of a controlled substance probably will net Mars, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, mandatory probation. If it is not his first offense, a judge has discretion to sentence him to one to four years in prison. He is accused of possessing 2.6 grams of cocaine.

Celebrity socialite Paris Hilton was arrested on the same felony charge a few weeks before Mars’ arrest. She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors last month and was sentenced to a year of probation.

Mars, 25, was arrested about 2:40 a.m. Sept. 19 after hotel security confronted him in a bathroom and found him with the cocaine, authorities said.

He has soared to popularity this year, and his song “Just the Way You Are” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

He also co-wrote the hits “Nothin’ On You” by B.o.B; “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy; and “Right Round” by Flo Rida.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at or

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