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Phish fallout includes dozens of arrests

Phish fallout includes dozens of arrests

Three police agencies arrested more than two dozen people during the Phish shows at the Saratoga Cou
Phish fallout includes dozens of arrests
Police work near the 'Shakedown' vendor area before the Phish concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on July 1.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Three police agencies arrested more than two dozen people during the Phish shows at the Saratoga County Performing Arts Center earlier this month, most centering around drugs and traffic stops, police said Monday.

Police also identified a woman from Pennsylvania who attended the show and died at a local hotel, possibly from substances willfully ingested, police said. Police found no signs of foul play.

The arrests came as part of a joint operation among the Saratoga Springs Police Department, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department and state police. The agencies have conducted similar operations at past SPAC Phish shows.

This year’s operation netted more than 25 arrests over the three days, about half involving at least one felony charge, police said. Police also encountered more than a dozen types of drugs.

Saratoga Springs Police spokesman Lt. Bob Jillson said police try to be proactive, knowing that a number of fans try to bring in controlled substances.

“With Phish coming, unfortunately it’s got that side contingent of the illegal narcotics that tend to, unfortunately, come along with them,” Jillson said. “We know it’s coming. We just try to do what we can to be proactive.”

Many of the arrests came via traffic stops near the venue, police said. Undercover officers also worked inside SPAC, purchasing marijuana, LSD, cocaine and concentrated cannabis from four individuals, police said.

The death happened at the Courtyard Marriott on Excelsior Avenue. Paramedics were called there July 4 at about 1:30 p.m. Three friends in the room had attended the shows and were staying in the room together.

One of the three, identified as Kellie Goff, 38, of Linwood, Pa., died. Paramedics found a second occupant, a 37-year-old from Jersey City, N.J., in dire need of medical attention. That man was taken to Albany Medical Center, where he recovered. The third occupant reported no medical issues.

The investigation is continuing, though police believe no criminal acts took place. Toxicology results are pending.

The death is in addition to that of a Connecticut man who had planned to attend a SPAC Phish concert, but was found dead Friday in Meriden, Conn., days later, according to media reports. The man, Jason Czech, had been the subject a missing person report.

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