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Former Hawaii singer Bruno Mars charged in Las Vegas

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:54 p.m. HST, Oct 1, 2010

LAS VEGAS — Hawaii-born singer-songwriter Bruno Mars is facing a felony cocaine possession charge stemming from his arrest after a performance at a Las Vegas nightclub last month.

The Clark County district attorney's office filed a criminal complaint today alleging the 24-year-old had 2.6 grams of cocaine when he was arrested Sept. 19.

Mars, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, is due in court Nov. 18 to face a single charge of possession of a controlled substance. If convicted, he could be sentenced to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Police arrested Hernandez after he was detained at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Police reported he told an arresting officer he never used drugs before.

A former child entertainer in Waikiki who graduated from Roosevelt High School, Hernandez moved to Los Angeles in 2002.

His single "Just the Way You Are" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and Mars' debut album "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" will be released in stores on Tuesday. Under the name Mars, he co-wrote and guested on this year's hits "Nothin' on You" with B.o.B and "Billionaire" with Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes.

Mars is also scheduled to be the guest musical performer on "Saturday Night Live" next week with host Jane Lynch from "Glee."

Star-Advertiser Reporter Gary Chun contributed to this story.

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