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Gang intervention worker charged with robbing rapper

January 13, 2009 |  2:01 pm

A gang intervention worker once held up as model of reform was charged today with robbing a well-known rapper at the Universal City Hilton earlier this month.

Marlo Jones, aka "Bow Wow," is charged with one felony count each of robbery and first-degree burglary with the special allegation that the crime was to further a street gang, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Paul Nunez with the Hardcore Crime Division.

Jones, 30, was a contract employee with the Unity One gang-intervention program and had worked with USC football coach Pete Carroll in his gang-violence-reduction efforts. But prosecutors allege he committed the crime to further the Grape Street Crips, one of South L.A.’s most notorious gangs.

Authorities say Jones and several other suspects confronted Byron McCane, also known as Bizzy Bone of the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, on Jan. 5 in his room at the Universal City Hilton. The suspects allegedly choked McCane, then robbed him of his jewelry, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

At the time, Jones was on probation after pleading no contest in November to one count of felony  spouse abuse. He also was convicted of robbery in 1996 and possession of cocaine in 1999. After his arrest Saturday, Jones was fired from his contract position with Unity One.

Jones is being held on $300,000 bail. Nunez said he will ask that bail be set at $1 million. If convicted, Jones faces up to 28 years in state prison.

--Richard Winton