Justin Bieber’s iPhone is being searched for clues about his alleged involvement in an egg attack on his neighbor’s house, a detective told TMZ.
There’s a lot of talk lately about pop singer Justin Bieber and whether he’ll face deportation back to Canada for vandalizing a neighbor’s upscale home by hurling eggs at it. Is this a real possibility or much ado about nothing? The short answer: deportation is extremely unlikely. But it’s not impossible either.
At the outset, it’s important to note that Bieber hasn’t yet been charged with a crime in the egg-throwing incident. Police are still going through evidence, including video surveillance footage, gathered during a raid of the celebrity’s house to determine if anything directly ties Bieber to the egg attack. About 20 eggs allegedly were involved.
It all started a week ago in the luxurious neighborhood of Calabasas, Calif. when Bieber’s neighbor Jeffrey Schwartz called 911 saying the singer was assaulting his house with eggs. Police then got a search warrant and raided Bieber’s home. Among the items seized were his cell phone and footage from his own video surveillance system.
Schwartz said the vandalism was caught on camera and that Bieber’s voice can be heard shouting during the egg attack. An insider reportedly told TMZ that the damage to Schwarz’s luxury home could run into the thousands because its expensive Venetian plaster façade has to be redone. Some estimates say repairs could cost as much as $20,000.
During the raid, Bieber’s very close friend Lil Za–real name Xavier Smith–was busted for drug possession. Law enforcement initially believed the substance to be cocaine but now say it could be ecstasy and must be tested in the lab. To make matters worse, the rap singer was charged again–this time for smashing a pay phone while he was in jail.
Officials say Bieber was not connected to Lil Za’s drug possession charge.
While most legal experts doubt that Bieber, who lives in the U.S. on a work visa, will be deported to Canada, a few say it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Generally, to be deported for a crime, the perpetrator must be found to have committed an “aggravated” offense, such as illegal drug trafficking or possession of explosives or child pornography.
However, there’s one class of aggravated crimes–those vaguely described as involving “moral turpitude,” which are open to broad interpretation and could be used as a basis for deporting Bieber if he is, in fact, convicted of vandalism.
“California does not take vandalism lightly,” LA-based lawyer Anahita Sedaghatfar told Fox News. “If the damage is $400 or more, the person can be charged with a felony and the person can face anywhere between one to three years in jail, in addition to having to pay fines and penalties.”
Immigration attorney Mitchell Ignatoff said deportation is a real possibility.
“If [Bieber is] actually convicted of a felony that involves a state of mind of intentional, or knowing, there’s a possibility he could be deported,” Ignatoff told Fox News.
Still, the law defines a crime involving moral turpitude as one that shocks the public conscience. Most legal experts don’t think egg-hurling rises to that level.