Comedian and former Howard Stern co-host Artie Lange was arrested for violating his court-ordered drug program, authorities say.
On Tuesday, May 21, police arrested Lange at a halfway house in New Jersey on a drug court warrant, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura told NJ.com.
Fontoura said that the 51-year-old comedian will stay at the Essex County Jail until he’s called before a judge for re-evaluation. He added that Lange “sounded good” and “looked sober” at the time of arrest.
“He was taken into custody for failing to comply with the terms of his participation in the drug program,” a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor’s office, Katherine Carter, told USA Today.
Lange’s mandatory six-month treatment program stems from a 2017 heroin arrest, according to an Essex County official.
“Artie Lange’s drug problems aren’t at the top of our list, but I think he’ll be in custody by morning,” a law enforcement source told New York Daily News on May 20.
Lange was also picked up earlier this month near his home in Hoboken, New Jersey, with “a clear plastic bag with heroin on his lap in his Range Rover,” according to New York Daily News.
Lange’s comedy career spans three decades, and he’s best known as a cast member on FOX’s “Mad TV” and a co-host of “The Howard Stern Show,” according to his website. He’s also made appearances on the HBO comedy series, “Crashing,” which is still ongoing.
Earlier this year, Lange spent around a week in Essex County Jail after he tested positive for cocaine for the second time in less than two months, according to NJ.com.
In March, a court ordered Lange to complete a drug treatment program in relation to his 2017 arrest. Originally, Lange was charged and placed on probation, which he violated by using drugs, Carter told USA Today.
However, instead of ending up in jail, Lange appealed and was accepted into the drug court, which placed him in a residential treatment program.
The judge only granted the residential treatment program on the grounds that Lange needed to get a local job. A video shared by Lange’s Twitter account showed that part of that program was working on a garbage truck.
Lange responded to the video and said, “It’s true i’m working to satisfy my drug court program. I work with great people. Nothing wrong with a little hard work. Love you all and can’t wait to be back on stage.”
We heard from Artie this morning, HA! -> “It’s true i’m working to satisfy my drug court program. I work with great people. Nothing wrong with a little hard work. Love you all and can’t wait to be back on stage.” pic.twitter.com/ZfwokhHBaD
— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) April 12, 2019
Lange has long struggled with substance abuse. In December, he wrote on Twitter about using cocaine shortly after being in rehab.
“I’m a bad addict,” Lange wrote. “I had to see if I could get high. It was awful.”
It should’ve left my system. But a higher power wouldn’t let. E get away with that. I’m a bad addict. I had to see if I could get high. It was awful. If ur on Suboxen don’t try it. So they are making me apply for a very strict rehab type program called Drug Court…
— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) December 14, 2018
Following his latest arrest, people took to social media to express concern over the state of Lange’s nose, which seems to have disappeared.
“Imma need someone to explain Artie Lange’s nose to me,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Imma need someone to explain Artie Lange’s nose to me
— Ryan Borowski (@TheBig_Borowski) May 21, 2019
Another person wrote, “I still can’t believe artie lange’s nose.”
I still can’t believe artie lange’s nose.
— freewerlboss (@kraaawse) May 21, 2019
Lange previously told USA Today that his lack of nose was due to drugs and being punched.
“The reason I have this nose is, of course, the abuse. I have no septum,” he told USA Today. “I also owed a bookie $62,000… and a kid who worked for the bookie… he was collecting, and he thought I was a billionaire because he saw me on TV, and he kidnapped me. I was going to my truck, he knocked me out with one punch… Knocked me out for like 10 minutes.”
Lange said the incident happened over a year ago.
“It destroyed my nose,” he added. “The septum from the abuse from the years of drugs and this hit broke it, and I’ve had two operations, and it’s just in bad shape.”
He also clarified further about the incident on Twitter.
“I was not kidnapped. I had an altercation w someone that lasted a couple hours tops. It has been solved and forgotten. Everyone involved is fine. I got punched. Happens sometimes,” he wrote.
I was not kidnapped. I had an altercation w someone that lasted a couple hours tops. It has been solved and forgotten. Everyone involved is fine. I got punched. Happens sometimes
— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) January 30, 2019