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Police Crack Down on Drug Crimes at Annual Music Summer Camp


Chillicothe is known as the home of the annual Summer Camp Music festival. This concert weekend involves performances by dozens of well-like bands, and attracts a free-spirited and musical crowd. Naturally, drugs are a part of the musical culture, and many individuals will try to smuggle illegal narcotics into the camp. PJ Star says that the musical festival has a history of multiple arrests and police are going to take even more precaution this year to make sure that individuals are not heading to the music festival with narcotics in their cars.

According to PJ Star, law enforcement circles sometimes refer to the Memorial Day weekend music festival as "Felony Fest" because of the many arrests that are made. The music festival's reputation has led many police officers to park their cars by the roadside and pull over travelers for car inspections. Many times, they discover marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or other drugs that concert-goers hoped to use at the festival.

Police in the area say that whenever there are music festivals there is a large number of arrests. The Peoria Police Chief says that the first year that he patrolled the concert he was shocked by the widespread and blatant use of drugs at Summer Camp. Initially he wanted to arrest all violators, but eventually he realized that there simply wasn't enough manpower to do this. While the authorities may not be able to arrest all individuals, the Peoria Police Department says that they will have all officers available to arrest any blatant felony offenders.

The police say that they will search specifically for suspects selling drugs at the concert. Festival-goers should be aware that the police will be all along the Route 29 which leads to Chillicothe looking for drivers who may be under the influence of drugs. Over the last five years of the Summer Camp Music Festival, 235 people have been arrested and sent to jail on drug charges. About 151 of those charges were drug charges that ranged from misdemeanor marijuana possession to felony controlled substance possession and distribution that resulted in a conviction. 27% of the arrests over the past five years did not lead to any sort of trial and the offenders were never charged after they were released from jail.

Police are encouraged to issue ordinance violations when possible in order to maintain a peaceful atmosphere at the concert and not cause any raucous. Research shows that if there are an abundance of arrests at the music festival one year, there is typically a larger amount of suspects who leave jail without any charges For example, in 2008 17 people were arrested for drug crimes, and four of them left the jail without ever being charged for their crime. In 2012, 65 people were arrested, but 28 never faced charges.

Many of the 2012 arrests were for synthetic substances that were later announced as uncontrolled substances in lab tests. Of the 172 cases that have been charged in the last five years, only 10 ended in dismissals. The Peoria Police also have the right to issue ordinance violations which will only result in a fine and will not require an arrest. The authorities can give these ordinance violations for possession of drug paraphernalia or less than one ounce of marijuana. If you are arrested as a result of the Summer Camp Music Festival this next weekend, you can call the McCall Law Offices for assistance. These attorneys have over 10 years of combined legal experience and are very familiar with how to handle a drug charge.

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