san fernando valley

African Cat, Monkey Seized in Raids Involving Hip-Hop Producer Mally Mall

Instagram posts featuring exotic animals led to the early morning raid in Encino

A hip-hop producer was the target of two search warrants Wednesday at his home in Encino, in which at least two exotic animals, including a serval cat, were rescued.

The raid was at the Encino home of "Love and Hip-hop" star Mally Mall, whose birth name is Jamal Rashid.

Mall, who has worked with artists such as Tyga, Drake, Justin Bieber, Future, Sean Kingston, and Snoop Dogg, was home at the time, but he did not speak to reporters. No arrests were made.

Police served two search warrants at his home, one involving alleged human trafficking and the other involving alleged animal trafficking.

Mall has made no secret of his love for exotic animals.

They're in his promotional video and featured on his Instagram page. Several posts show a monkey. At least one appeared to show a large wild cat in a bidet.

Fish and wildlife officials say it was a social media post that triggered the search warrant at his home.

At a second location, a spider monkey was also rescued, officials said. Aerial footage of the raid at the Encino address showed SWAT officers and fish and wildlife officials carrying a serval cat in a cage.

"They're African cats," said Michele Budish, a game warden with the California Department of Fish and Game. "They could be taller than me when they stand on their hind legs."

Friend and neighbor Heather Michaels defended Mall, saying the star loves animals and did nothing illegal.

"There's no charges against him," she said. "He's not been arrested. There's no trafficking. He's an animal lover. He rescued this baby at just under 6 weeks old."

Budish told reporters celebrities who obtain such exotic animals exacerbate problems of trafficking when they post photos of them on social media.

"When people openly display these animals on their social media accounts, it creates a market for them, and as you can already assume, if the demand goes up the price for these animals go up," Budish said. "And these animals are taken from the wild and from their native habitat and they're trafficked. Again, we really need the public's help. Wildlife trafficking will not be tolerated in this state."

Details about the human trafficking investigation were not released.

In 2014, federal agents raided Mall's home and office in Las Vegas in connection with a human trafficking probe, but authorities at the time also declined to release details, saying the warrants were filed under seal.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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