On June 6, it was reported that New York authorities seized a large quantity of drugs and approximately $40,000 in cash during the recent FolkFest music festival. Authorities reportedly went undercover during the festival, which was held at Sterling Stage in Oswego County from May 21 to 24.
A representative of the State Police stated that vendors at the festival advertised that they were selling drugs and often had lists of what they had available to sell. Additionally, sellers were reportedly walking throughout the crowds with illegal substances on their person so they could be offered to festival-goers. Some of the drugs that were allegedly available included cocaine, MDMA, prescription medications and hash, among others.
In total, 45 individuals were taken into custody, with 14 taken into custody inside the venue, though specific charges were not mentioned. An additional 31 people were taken into custody outside the venue. Nine people were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 21 were charged with possession of marijuana and one person was charged with DWI.
Drug charges can result in severe consequences for those who are accused of distributing or being in possession of them. If the person has prior convictions, the consequences can be even more severe and result in a lengthy incarceration. The defense strategy an attorney may utilize depends on the situation surrounding the case. For example, people accused of selling drugs may be able to show that their role was not significant. In certain circumstances, they may have the ability to provide testimony implicating others in order to reduce their own potential penalties.
Source: Syracuse, “State police: Sterling music festival was ‘drug supermarket’‘”, Sarah Moses, June 2, 2015