El DeBarge ARRESTED for Drug Possession

3/21/2012 7:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Rhythm of the Night" singer El DeBarge was arrested for drug possession in L.A. yesterday ... and cops believe El may have been trying to deal the junk.

El was popped around 2 PM in Encino, CA ... after LAPD officers observed him participating in what appeared to be a drug deal with another man near the 101 Freeway.

DeBarge was arrested for possession of narcotics with intent to sell. It's the 3rd time El has been arrested for drug possession since 2001.

He was hauled to a nearby jail where he was booked and released on $30k bail. El is due back in court next month.

Fun Fact -- El's brother James is currently serving time behind bars after being arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and drug charges.