Police Pursuing Concert Drug Warrants

Police Pursuing Concert Drug Warrants
Posted by FoM on April 11, 2000 at 13:36:26 PT
By Wendy Reeves, Times Staff Writer
Source: Huntsville Times
Widespread Panic. Ten thousand young fans. Not enough tickets to go around. Too many people with time on their hands, and drugs with which to pass the time. Seven people were arrested and at least 13 were taken to area hospitals for drug overdoses Friday night in Huntsville when the Georgia rock group Widespread Panic played the Von Braun Center. 
Drug agents with the Huntsville Police Department's Organized Crime Unit are still working toward more warrants after incidents before, during or after the concert, said Sgt. Jim Winn. Overall, Winn said, officers found a pound of marijuana, 120 hits of LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms and small amounts of Ecstasy and opium. In addition, officers seized a variety of prescription drugs such as Xanax and Valium. In addition to the drugs seized, officers also confiscated about $4,000 cash from alleged drug dealers. Most of the arrests, Winn said, stemmed from the sale or use of drugs among a crowd of about 1,000 fans who milled around Big Spring Park outside the VBC when they could not get tickets to the sold-out show. ''We did the best we could do. We had to deter the use of marijuana, but we had to be realistic about what we could do with the amount of people we had,'' Winn said. ''We had to use discretion in making arrests, because every time we'd make an arrest, it cut our manpower down one officer for at least an hour.'' The arrests included a 21-year-old Yazoo City, Miss., man who was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest for allegedly pushing and cursing a police officer. A 23-year-old Memphis man was arrested early Saturday for possession of drug paraphernalia for having a glass pipe with marijuana residue in it. Officers found it after they found the man passed out near Big Spring International Park. The man told an officer he had smoked marijuana in the pipe, according to a police report. Several felony drug arrests were also made. Wynn said people were taken into custody primarily if they became violent. For other incidents, case reports were made and investigators are pursuing warrants this week. ''This was not a violent crowd by nature, but the problems started for some of them when they started using the hallucinogenic drugs, which made them violent and disoriented,'' he said. Sgt. Rex Reynolds has worked an off-duty security job at the VBC for 10 years. He said Friday night's concert was the biggest concert he's ever seen there. ''We knew what to expect from the last time they were here,'' Reynolds said. The crowd wasn't as big, but there were similar problems. Additional officers and bike and horse patrols were used Friday night. ''We do that at lots of major concerts though,'' Reynolds said. ''Overall, this was a good crowd. . . . The single worst problem we had were the suspected overdoses.'' While some of the fans used drugs, Reynolds said, hundreds of kids there did not. Thirteen people were treated for overdoses of LSD and alcohol at local hospitals after the concert. All were released by Saturday evening. Several others were treated at or near the VBC by HEMSI paramedics. Published: April 11, 2000 2000 The Huntsville Times.
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Comment #1 posted by mungojelly on April 13, 2000 at 15:17:35 PT:
they HAD to
"We had to deter the use of marijuana" -- You HAD to? Or else what? "hallucinogenic drugs, which made them violent and disoriented" -- What drugs are those? Did marijuana make them violent? E? Mushrooms? You expect us to buy that? I bet it was the alcohol. "Thirteen people were treated for overdoses of LSD" -- Were they now? What dose of LSD are you talking about? Freaking out is not "overdosing" -- it's psychological & only somewhat related to dose. Set & setting are also important -- for instance, it doesn't help anyone's trip to be surrounded by nosy angry suspicious brainwashed cops. 
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