A coordinated law enforcement operation netted 14 people on drug charges before the Phish concerts at SPAC on July 2 and 3.
The joint effort by the county Sheriff’s Office and city Police Department was designed to target drug users and drug sellers with traffic stops timed in the afternoon to avoid creating traffic problems. The two agencies announced the results Wednesday: 146 vehicles stopped for questioning, 51 traffic tickets issued and 14 arrests made. The arrests included seven felony and 13 misdemeanor charges; those arrested came from as far away as Virginia and Indiana.
Many of the arrests were for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, which includes possession of drugs such as cocaine, heroin or ecstasy.
“Myself and Capt. Jeffrey Brown [of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department] coordinated our efforts here well in advance of the Phish concerts,” said Lt. Bob Jill-son of the Saratoga Springs Police Department. “I will not say it is directly related to the band itself, but we have found that a variety of illegal drugs are often found in the possession of those coming to attend.”
Jillson said that in previous years, concertgoers have died because of drug abuse.
Brown said there is a lot of activity in Saratoga in the summer with the warmer weather, so the operation was not necessarily focused on just the concertgoers. Still, both Jillson and Brown have seen similar rates of arrests before Phish’s performances at SPAC in the past.