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‘Rave’ party results in numerous arrests

CORAPEAKE – For nearly 400 music lovers, this past weekend’s “Rave Party” here was just that – a time to party and listen to a wide assortment of DJ’s.

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

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb reported that at least 18 people were arrested, most all for possession of illegal drugs.

The event, conducted by out-of-state promoters, was held at Lot 91, Drum Hill Road, Corapeake, 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.

Sheriff Webb said of the 18 arrests he was aware of, 11 face felony charges for possession of MDA, Ecstasy, mushrooms, marijuana, crystal meth and prescription narcotics.

Seven others were charged with misdemeanors, all 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 18-30, were from out-of-state. He added their bonds ranged from $5,000 to $25,000. Most all made their first court appearances on Monday, some after spending two nights in jail in nearby 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 that 33 total charges/arrest citations were issued. Other than the drug charges, the arrests/citations were for open container (alcohol), concealed weapon, resist/delay/obstruct and one person was picked up on an outstanding warrant “Some of the ALE agents issued citations, meaning the person charged was not placed under arrest,” Webb said. 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 underway Saturday afternoon and was scheduled to end Sunday morning after sun-up. “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.

Webb thanked all of his officers for their work at the event. He also offered thanks to the Hertford County Sheriff, Chowan County Sheriff, North Carolina Highway Patrol, ALE agents, Virginia State Police and the Suffolk (Va.) Police Department.