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Drug bust instructive: busy night for police at Raleigh concert

If you just happen to have a strong interest in seeing a beefed-up police presence at public activities, coupled with strong investigatory zeal aimed at making mass arrests, then you wouldn't have wanted to miss the Phish concert in Raleigh last month.

Phish fans at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater undoubtedly did observe that the band did play. The musical goings-on might have been obscured just a bit for some, though, given the overt and single-handed focus displayed by agents on the scene from the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agency.

Those individuals weren't on hand for the tunes. Rather, the Phish concert was purposefully selected for the opportunity it presented to make a high number of drug- and alcohol-related arrests.

As one media report on the concert and arrests noted, the event provided agents with a stellar opportunity 'to reel in some offenders."

Mission accomplished.

Sixty-five attendees were arrested, with 115 criminal charges being filed.

Several points of note emerge in the wake of the mass bust.

Here's one: If you are arrested in such a sting, your name and a few personal details are likely to appear in the paper. It is interesting to note that the ages of individuals arrested at the concert ranged from 17 to 56.

Here's another: It become readily apparent from scanning the pages-long list of alleged offenders and charges that the laundry list of drug offenses in North Carolina is lengthy and comprehensive.

Some concert goers who don't personally view that having a bit of pot on hand for personal use at such a venue is a big deal might want to note that many of the arrests were for simple possession of marijuana, with no intent to sell or deliver. That is a criminal misdemeanor charge that can carry a number of adverse consequences.

Drug offenses in North Carolina run a broad gamut and can yield widely varying penalties. Any person who has been detained by law enforcement officials and is being questioned regarding drug possession, sale or a related offense might reasonably want to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney without delay.

Source:, "ALE agents reel in drug, alcohol offenders at Phish concert in Raleigh," Bryan Mims, Aug. 15, 2015

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