‘Rave’ ends in multiple arrests

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CORAPEAKE, N.C.—For nearly 400 music lovers, this past weekend’s “Rave Party” was a time to party and listen to a wide assortment of disc jockeys.

However, for a very few, the party ended with a trip to jail.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb reported at least 20 arrests while an unknown number were issued citations at the event. The majority of those arrested were for illegal drugs.

The event, conducted by out-of-state promoters, was held at on Drum Hill Road less than one-half mile from the North Carolina-Virginia state line.

According to ravelinks.com, the event was billed as “Unity” — a massive all-night outdoor stop on the PLUR Tour. The website listed the promoters as Light It Up, KJ Productions, Good Vibes Promotions and the PLUR Tour.

Webb said of the 20 arrested, 11 face felony charges for possession of MDA, ecstasy, mushrooms, marijuana, crystal methamphetamine and prescription narcotics.

Nine others were charged with misdemeanors associated with illegal drug use and possession of drug paraphernalia. That included the arrests of individuals who were allegedly involved with “huffing” — inhaling chemical vapors from a variety of substances, many of which are common household products.

“What happened here was that individuals were filling balloons with some type of toxic gas and selling the balloons for $5 each,” Webb said. “The buyer, in turn, inhales the gas from the balloon.”

Webb said all those arrested, who were between the ages of 18 and 30, were from out-of-state. Bonds ranged from $5,000 to $25,000. Most made first court appearances on Monday, some after spending two nights in jail in Chowan County.

Additionally, Webb said one vehicle, operating on a public road outside the grounds of the event, was stopped and searched. Illegal drugs were allegedly discovered inside the vehicle, leading local law enforcement officers to seize the vehicle.

Webb said Monday he had yet to receive all of the paperwork from North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement. ALE agents were at the event.

“Some of the agents issued citations, meaning the person charged was not placed under arrest,” Webb said. “As of right now I do not know how many citations were issued.”

The sheriff added that charges may be pending against the event promoters as well as the property owner. Webb said he would discuss those possible charges with the district attorney.

“The festival itself went very well,” Webb said of the event which got under way Saturday afternoon and was scheduled to end Sunday morning. “People started coming in mid-to-late afternoon.”

Webb said the parking lot was filled with vehicles bearing out-of-state license plates – South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland and New Jersey, just to name a few.

“The kids were very well behaved,” Webb said. “Even those we arrested on drug charges were very polite.”

Webb said there were no medical problems or damage to property. He added there were no noise complaints registered by those living near the party site.

“There were some local citizens that turned out just to see what was going on,” Webb said. “They, as well as myself, have never seen anything like this before … the music, the laser light shows.”

Webb said three stages were set-up to handle the different DJ’s.

“The kids simply drifted between the stages to enjoy the music and the light shows,” Webb said.