White Busted, Not Broken

Ron White picked up some unexpected new fodder for his act during a recent tour stop in Florida.

After reportedly receiving an anonymous tip that there were drugs on White’s private plane, Vero Beach police arrested the comedian Sept. 10 at the city’s municipal airport on suspicion of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

White cooperated with police after they reportedly found a pipe and less than three grams of pot on board. The comedian told officers he had the drug for medicinal purposes but was not able to produce a prescription, according to the TC Palm.

The arrest happened just hours before White was scheduled to perform a sold-out show at the 1,200-capacity Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce. He was booked at Indian River County Jail and released on $1,000 bail. The show started about an hour late, the paper said.

“The officers told him why they were there, and he chose to produce what he had,” Vero Beach Police Chief Donald Dappen said. “With that, he put my officers in the position where they needed to act. It’s a violation of the law and everyone knows that.”

White was candid about the charges.

“To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have believed me either,” he told the paper. “I know for a fact that marijuana was illegal as hell in Florida. I’m not trying to claim that at all.”

The anonymous tip is rumored to be a result of an incident involving White and two former employees earlier this year.

The Federal Aviation Administration is reportedly investigating a May 11 incident in which two pilots claim White risked everyone’s safety. The pilots allege the comedian, drunk and angry, tried to enter the cockpit and start a fight during a flight.

One pilot told Atlanta’s WSB-TV News that White had them fired after the incident, the TC Palm reported.

Terry Lloyd, White’s lawyer, told the paper the allegations are groundless.

“I have absolutely no confidence in any allegations they make against Ron White. They were terminated by him. They’re nothing more than disgruntled former pilots.”

White also denied the claims to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Do I look like somebody who wants to die?” White said. “My life is in my prime. I’ve never had more fun in my life than I’m having right now.”

The performer said dropping a dime on him was just “extortion, pure and simple,” by one of the two pilots allegedly demanding a large severance for their termination.

However, the arrest hasn’t been as detrimental to White as it could have been.

“My ticket sales have spiked. My book sales have spiked. My record sales have spiked,” he told the Journal-Constitution.