Former Syracuse basketball player arrested, accused of being ‘drug mule’ for rapper Diddy

Former Syracuse Orange basketball player Brendan Paul has been arrested. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

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A former Syracuse basketball player was arrested on two felony charges at a Miami airport Monday. He is accused of working as rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs’ alleged “drug mule.”

Brendan Paul, as he is listed on Syracuse’s roster, was a walk-on guard for the program from 2018-’20. The 25-year-old was booked for cocaine and controlled substance possession and released Tuesday after posting a $2,500 bail, per Miami-Dade County court records accessed by Yahoo Sports.

The records spell Paul’s first name as “Brandon” but the mug shot, published by TMZ, matches his roster photo. He was apprehended at Opa Locka Airport before he could board Diddy’s private jet, according to the New York Post. In addition to the cocaine, “suspected marijuana edibles” were reportedly found in Paul’s luggage.

The arrest came as federal agents raided Combs’ Los Angeles and Miami homes Monday in the wake of multiple recent lawsuits accusing the 54-year-old of sexual assault and sex trafficking. Homeland Security Investigations implemented the raid without providing details regarding the case or any charges against Combs, the New York Times reported.

Paul’s name reportedly appeared 11 times in a February lawsuit filed in a Manhattan Federal District Court by music producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones. The producer claimed he was sexually assaulted by Diddy during the process of working on multiple songs for the artist’s “The Love Album: Off the Grid” in 2022 and ’23. 

In the filing, Paul is described as Combs’s “mule.” Photos of Paul and Combs together were reportedly submitted in the case to support claims that Paul acquired and distributed guns and drugs for the rapper. He is additionally accused of aiding and abetting Combs and his associates in the alleged sex trafficking by paying sex workers in cash.

Paul was accepted to Syracuse after attending Brewster Academy, a private boarding school in New Hampshire. He transferred to Hawken High School, a private institution in Ohio, before his senior year.

After recording three points from the bench across 16 games between his freshman and sophomore year at Syracuse, he opted to enter the transfer portal. He landed at Fairmont State for the 2020-21 season, where he recorded 51 points in two years.

His Facebook account shows posts about his desire to focus on basketball and producing music during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In September 2023, he shared photos of himself and Combs as they worked on “The Love Album.” He wrote “Been off the grid, it’s still love” in the caption. When posting a private jet in another of set photos in October, he simply wrote: “visceral.” 

He is scheduled to appear in court on April 24.

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