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Terrorists looking to end all American music festivals

slycedbred

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http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dai...l_bonnaroo.php

Basically, the DEA is attempting to seize 352 acres of land because concert-goers were using and distributing drugs at the events held on the grounds. The problem is....damn near every single music festival in america has widespread drug use and distribution....


edit: feel free to move this to current events, but i don't think anyone there cares about this

Carrie Goebel went to sleep this Halloween in her own version of paradise. She woke up to a nightmare.

The 46-year-old artist from Warrenton, Missouri, spent the last weekend in October camping out at Camp Zoe's Spookstock music festival. "It was a good time, the weather was great, there were lots of good costumes," she recalls. "Little kids were trick-or-treating from campsite to campsite. It was a good time. It was a great weekend."

But on the morning of Monday, November 1, Goebel and several hundred other Spookstock holdovers awoke to find a small army of law enforcement officers storming the campground.

"I was making coffee and I look over and there was a pickup truck full of police officers and in the back was men in camouflage," Goebel says. "They were going from tent to tent telling people to get out. There was a hazmat team and police cars from Salem and Rolla. I wasn't there when the dogs came, but they wrote down my driver's license info in a notebook and then filmed me leaving. I didn't know what to do. I felt like I was being terrorized."

Only later did Goebel learn that the raid was the culmination of a four-year-long investigation by the DEA and the Missouri State Highway Patrol into alleged drug use and sales by Camp Zoe concertgoers. No one -- including Camp Zoe owner Jimmy Tebeau -- has been charged with a crime, but the eastern Missouri U.S. Attorney's Office is attempting to confiscate the 352-acre property using a controversial process called asset forfeiture.

It's not just alarming to festival attendees like Goebel. The situation has other music festival organizers worried that they, too, might be held accountable for any illegal activity that happens to take place at their event.

"It has gotten our attention," says Brian Cohen, the organizer of St. Louis' LouFest. "All festivals take on some degree of liability. That's why we hire security, medical personnel, etc. But the potential penalties in this case seem to put it in a different category. LouFest and Schwagstock are two very different animals, so it's hard to know what impact this could have on us. But we're definitely watching it."

Dave Roland, an attorney with the for the non-profit advocacy group Freedom Center of Missouri, calls the Camp Zoe seizure "a shot across the bow" for individuals who host music festivals or popular events on private land.

"My home state is Tennessee," Roland says. "What about Bonnaroo? The folks who own that property need to be very aware and very concerned. With any large gathering of young people, there's probably going to be some illegal activity, and if that's taking place, it appears that property could be subject to forfeiture."

Of course, the Camp Zoe case is not the first time federal authorities have attempted to crack down on hippie-friendly festivities. Last year, for instance, agents from the U.S. Forest Service arrested dozens of attendees at a Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico.

Garrick Beck, a Rainbow Gathering collaborator in New Mexico, says he's not worried about facing asset forfeiture, because the group always congregates in federally-owned National Forests. However, Beck does believe that the threat of forfeiture will be an effective scare tactic in the years to come.

"What you've got here is a situation where federal law enforcement is seeking to harass a culture by targeting people who are not directly involved in the drug sales or distribution," he says. "I think that is the essence of the problem that this group is facing. It wouldn't surprise me if federal officers try to use that in other instances to scare people from attending or promoting other counterculture events."

Dan Viets, Tebeau's attorney, says the November 1 raid on Camp Zoe involved about 80 federal agents and they "didn't find so much as a roach" on the property.

"There were several dozen federal agents from all the alphabet soups -- IRS, DEA, ATF -- backed up by local cops who came onto the property with federal subpoenas," Viets says. "They basically asked for business records, which they got."

The DEA and U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigation.

An official statement published on the Camp Zoe website says "one patron was arrested for previous warrants unrelated to Camp Zoe." The message also says, "the same day the DEA seized all the money in the Camp Zoe bank account -- which included most of the gate receipts for the Spookstock 9 weekend. This money was to be used to pay staff, artists, security, production (lights & sound), trash pickup, etc. for the festival weekend. It was also to be used for the basic bills for Camp Zoe to get the business through the winter."

Emmett McAuliffe, another attorney representing Tebeau and Camp Zoe, says that the campground will remain closed for the duration of the asset forfeiture proceedings, but the Schwagstock festivals will continue next year at other yet-to-be-determined venues in Missouri.

"This is a travesty," McAuliffe says. "To me [Jimmy] was being a good guy by taking a campground that was undeveloped and sitting there fallow and turning it into a vibrant economic asset for Shannon County."

McAuliffe says Tebeau and Camp Zoe are accepting donations via their website for a legal defense fund and to pay the venue's bills during the winter. Camp Zoe supporters have also organized a benefit concert on Christmas night at the Roberts Orpheum Theater featuring Tebeau's band the Schwag.
 

unjung

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LOL. We are all fucked. Enjoy your remaining freedoms.
 

Nouveau Pauvre

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This is despicable. Personal freedom and privacy in this country is rapidly becoming a cruel joke.
 

L.R.

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This is like seizing a ski-resort for having people smoke pot. Or shutting down a college in the US for underage drinking.
 

Dakota rube

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Hyperbole much?
 

L.R.

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Originally Posted by Dakota rube
Hyperbole much?

Oh entirely, but I'm bored, and willing too talk in bot-bumped threads.
 

Harold falcon

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Thank holy baby Jesus the Cops were here to protect us from these dangerous hippie bong smokers. I for one sleep much better at night knowing people who got a 2 year associate's degree in criminal justice are looking out for my best interests and making sure people aren't doing evil things like ingesting the demon weed. I don't think I'd feel safe otherwise. Hopefully these terrorist-supporting drug dealers will feel the full brunt of the legal system and lose their property and have to go to prison for the rest of their lives. I wish they'd get the death penalty but I know those do gooder liberal pinheads would cause too much of a stink, so I'll have to settle for putting them away for a few decades.

God bless the DEA, Obama, and America.
 

Dakota rube

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Originally Posted by L.R.
Oh entirely, but I'm bored, and willing too talk in bot-bumped threads.

Okay.
For a police force to spend 4 years investigating drug sales and use on concert grounds, I'd have to say one of two things is going on:
1. Fucking Mayberry cops with nothing better to do; or
2. Serious quantities of dope being moved through there.

There was a 3-day festival held for several years an hour from here, where there were just about any kind of drug you could imagine available for sale or even gratis. I know several cops who work in the area and they all had pretty much the same attitude:

As long as it was kept on the concert grounds (about 400 acres) and to adults only, they weren't really that concerned.
 

Kid Nickels

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just read about this today... completely crazy.....
 

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