Will Smith's Brother-In-Law Arrested On Federal Drug Charges

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 13: Actor Will Smith attends the 'Men In Black 3' premiere at La Caja Magica on May 13, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 13: Actor Will Smith attends the 'Men In Black 3' premiere at La Caja Magica on May 13, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Will Smith left the rough West Philadelphia neighborhood he grew up in for Hollywood years ago, and has since become one of the world's biggest movie stars, but not everyone in his family has done as well for themselves.

Star magazine first reported that Smith's brother-in-law Dee Lawrence Downs, who is married to the actor's younger sister Ellen, has been arrested on federal drug charges.

According to court documents obtained by The Huffington Post, Downs was arrested on Jan. 17 and charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. In the criminal complaint, Gregory Gillespie a task force officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration, claims that Downs made arrangements to travel from Philadelphia to Miami for the purpose of buying cocaine from a major drug supplier.

Downs was the target of a sting operation, where unbeknownst to him he was dealing with confidential sources working with the DEA. Upon arrival in Miami, Downs was driven to Latin Bohemia Grill in Coral Gables where he met with the two confidential sources, and allegedly said he was looking for someone he could trust to move "product" every month, and claimed he had contacts in South Philadelphia who were able to move the "product" quickly and in large amounts.

According to the court documents, after traveling to another location, Downs began to negotiate the purchase of several kilograms of cocaine -- with the parties agreeing on a price of $26,500 per kilogram with a transportation fee of $1,500 per kilogram delivered to Philadelphia.

After returning to Philadelphia, Downs wired $7,500 to the confidential source, which is the amount he negotiated to have 5 kilograms of the drug delivered.

On Jan. 17 Downs was arrested after negotiating a deal to buy 2 kilograms of cocaine from an undercover officer, whom he presented a black bag that contained large, undetermined amounts of cash.

Downs was indicted on Feb. 13 and pled "not guilty" to the felony charge against him. According to court documents, bail was set at $100,000 and the 49-year-old who is described as a businessman and security guard, was released from federal prison on Feb. 19, and is due back in court on April 15.

It's not the first time Downs has been in trouble with the law, and according to Star, his famous brother-in-law, who in 2006 marched against drugs and violence in his hometown, likely want nothing to do with him.

“Having a drug felon in the family obviously doesn’t square with Will’s clean-cut image,” a close source told Star. “This arrest has to be beyond horrifying for him.”

The source added: "This has got to be embarrassing for Will and his family. It is the first time they have been touched by scandal.”

Requests for comment made by The Huffington Post to Smith's reps have not been returned at this time.

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