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Chris Brown faces criminal charges for owning pet capuchin monkey, report says

TMZ.com, citing legal documents, said the Los Angeles city attorney has charged Brown with two counts of having a restricted species without a permit.

Chris Brown performs at the BET Experience

 Chris Brown performs at the BET Experience concert in Los Angeles on June 22. Photo Credit: Getty Images for BET/Ser Baffo

Eleven months after California officials seized a pet capuchin monkey belonging to singer Chris Brown, criminal charges have been filed in the case.

TMZ.com on Thursday, citing legal documents, said the Los Angeles city attorney has charged Brown, 29, with two counts of having a restricted species without a permit.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of either six months in county jail or a fine of not more than $1,000. Violations also are subject to civil penalties between $500 and $10,000, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which seized the primate, named Fiji, on Jan. 2. 

Authorities had been alerted to the possible violation after Brown posted a video on Dec. 17, 2017, showing his then 3-year-old daughter, Royalty, happily holding the small monkey, which was swaddled in a blanket. The singer, who often posts photos and videos of Royalty, shares custody of his daughter with the child's mother, Nia Guzman. Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy told The Associated Press in January that the department received a half-dozen calls from the public in response to the video, prompting an investigation.

Brown was not at home when agents arrived, and employees voluntarily surrendered the animal in a cage. The monkey was taken to an undisclosed facility.

Brown is due in court Feb. 6, TMZ said.

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