Stash Of Illegal Drugs And Paraphernalia
Weekend Rave Concert
Sheriff David M. Reynolds displays confiscated
that were meant to hold the illegal drug "Ecstasy"
Every party pill drug enforcement agents
told Porter County to expect at its first rave were discovered among the 3,000
who attended the two-day event, Sheriff David Reynolds said Wednesday.
Standing alongside a table jammed full of items confiscated
during last weekend's Electro-Rock Summer Festival at the Porter County Expo
Center, Reynolds reflected on the police presence he said kept a potentially
dangerous situation under control. "There was potential for big problems, that was obvious, we
knew that going in," he said. "I believe if we were not there we would have had
serious problems that we didn't end up having." Instead, Reynolds said police were able to eliminate drugs at the front gate
that would have ended up in someone's system, from the obviously illegal --
clear plastic bags of marijuana and round orange Ecstasy pills, to the lesser
known paraphernalia preferred by members of the pop drug culture -- Vicks
VapoRub and baby pacifiers
In addition to gallon-size plastic bags chock full of a drugstore's worth of
pills and over-the-counter cold medicines, Sheriff's Department spokesman Tim
Emmons said police took dozens of switchblades and box cutters, shotgun shells,
a stun gun, an assortment of marijuana pipes, as well as coolers full of
whiskey, vodka and beer from those looking to enter the Expo Center
grounds. At any given time, 50 to 60 officers patrolled the Expo Center grounds.
Twenty of those were off-duty Chicago and Cook County officers who were hired as
security by the concert promoter. The balance of the security force was provided
locally -- 20 uniformed officers as well as 10 to 15 undercover officers. Led by county police, the local unit was made up of state, Lake and LaPorte
county and Portage officers. They were bolstered by Drug Enforcement Agents and
a platoon of U.S. Customs Agency dogs and their handlers, who used the event to
conduct drug-training exercises. In addition, Reynolds said local businessmen
donated food and loaned the Police Department all-terrain vehicles and a
closed-circuit television surveillance system for the weekend. The beefed-up police presence continued until the last of the concertgoers
had left the grounds. Police registered three drug overdoses and seven arrests during the event.
Reynolds said all those who overdosed, including a Hobart teen who approached
uniformed officers when he realized he had overdosed on Ecstasy, were expected
to recover. When it was over, Reynolds said he believed the teenagers and 20-somethings
who traveled from various parts of the Midwest to attend the event were happy to
have the security presence and enjoyed their time in Porter County "I just hope they don't have another one soon," Reynolds said. But, Expo Center Director Lonnie Steele isn't saying never.
"I see lots of positives and a few negatives. I think we prepared ourselves
for situations and some good could come from that. Every time we do something
for kids, there are suspicions. But, I saw a whole raft of kids that had a great
time," Steele said. "The one thing that I am concerned about has nothing to do
with the young people. I enjoyed my interaction with them. I wish I knew all of
those whose lives were disrupted by the noise. We owe our neighbors an apology.
We didn't anticipate the noise carrying the way it did."
BY ROBIN BIESEN Times Staff Writer
Stash of Illegal Items Recovered at Rave
Photos Courtesy Of The Times Gregg