Newport Beach police said Tuesday night they were unaware of photos of celebrity Justin Bieber allegedly smoking what appears to be a marijuana cigarette in a local hotel.

Sgt. Mike James didn’t say whether the department was planning to investigate, saying that prior to a phone call from Daily Pilot staff that he hadn’t heard anything about it.

Bieber was photographed Jan. 2 at a hotel-room party holding what appears to be a marijuana cigarette while sitting with fellow partyers and a couple of empty beer bottles.

The photos, taken in the presence of security and obtained by TMZ over the weekend, show Bieber laughing and chatting with the lighted cigarette between his fingers.

Sources at the party told the website that rapper Lil Twist and his brother were rolling the cigarettes. The day before the photos were taken, Twist was pulled over while driving Bieber's Ferrari, and freelance photographer Chris Guerra, who was trying to shoot photos of the traffic stop, was killed while crossing Sepulveda Boulevard, where the traffic stop occurred.

Guerra, TMZ said, made a phone call shortly before his death telling a friend he was convinced Bieber was smoking pot behind the wheel — he reportedly thought he was in pursuit of a hot story. Bieber was not in the car when it was pulled over about 6 p.m. New Year's Day, and sources close to the pop star insisted that Guerra was mistaken.

— From The Daily Pilot and Los Angeles Times