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Jimmy Tebeau, Camp Zoe/Schwagstock Impresario, Indicted

Jimmy Tebeau-thumb-250x350.jpg
Jimmy Tebeau: The feds now claim he "consciously" managed his campground for the "specific purpose" of facilitating drug sales.
Seven months after the federal government first attempted to seize Jimmy Tebeau's 300-acre Camp Zoe in rural Missouri via asset forfeiture, claiming its popular Schwagstock music festivals have become havens of drug dealing, Tebeau has been indicted.

The 44-year-old Cape Girardeau resident faces a single felony count of "operating premises for the facilitation of illegal drug use," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

On its face, that appears to be a highly unusual charge for a land owner/music promoter. It neither alleges that Tebeau himself sold illegal drugs nor used them personally -- and appears to discount the festivals' music and entertainment value almost entirely.

As the prosecutors' press release summarizes, "According to the allegations in the indictment, Tebeau consciously managed the concerts and campground for the specific purpose of facilitating the distribution and use of multiple controlled substances by the concert patrons."

Note that language: They're not just saying the drug sales happened. They're saying such sales were the entire point of Tebeau's undertaking. Not his love of jam bands or camping fun -- but the "distribution of multiple controlled substances."
Seems kind of shady. But also, perhaps, strategic: The criminal charges could help the feds argue that they're not just greedy guys trying to take Tebeau's land -- they'd previously drawn criticism from both the NORML crowd on the left, and civil-liberties lovers on the right, for attempting to take Camp Zoe via asset forfeiture even though Tebeau had never been charged with any crime. (He was more recently charged with felony tax evasion, but that didn't do much to silence critics of the asset forfeiture case.)

Even if this charge is totally spurious, it could give the feds a talking point to combat allegations of government overreach. And it allows them to do a virtual perp walk on a guy who they've apparently been investigating for four years -- and who insists on fighting back.

Former RFT staff writer Keegan Hamilton examined the issues surrounding Camp Zoe and Tebeau at length in a January 2011 cover story. He also explored the issue of whether other music festivals have anything to fear from federal investigations like the one targeting Tebeau. (In a word: yes.)

We'll have much more on this story as it develops.
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52 comments
jiban863
jiban863

Thanks for giving Pick up The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury to get a feel for what life will be like daily, which it sounds like you experienced.http://www.mirchi9.com

david mowers
david mowers

Expect a nationwide crack down by large scale music promoters and musicians, I'm talking Nazis-esque parking lot procedures and zero tolerance. Pretty much that way already, concerts suck anymore.

Guest
Guest

I went to Schwagstock twice, and while I know nothing about Jimmy as a person or his intentions in throwing the festival, Zoe was without question a haven for drug use and selling. As in, this place was a fucking open-air bazaar for hardcore drugs. This was completely obvious, and anyone claiming that it was all about the music is kidding themselves. The last time I went, I think a month before Zoe got raided, the scene had become so negative and disturbing that my friends and I left a day early. I witnessed: the campers next to me selling massive amounts of opium and prescription drugs out of a beat up van they apparently lived in; some dudes who looked like ex-felons asking me if I'd like to buy a pound of ketamine; a "security guard" pointing out where to find H; a guy snorting lines off a CD case in the middle of shakedown street; fucking wigged-out, backwoods-Missouri, Deliverance-style meth heads wandering around the outskirts being threatening and just overall shady as fuck; and countless other shit that made me question how in the hell this place was allowed to exist.

So yeah, the scene wasn't "Hey here's some peaceful, music-loving hippies smokingpot and doing acid in the midst of a beautiful meadow away fromsociety." I'm all for that, and will happily partake in it. But this shit was just straight up lawlessness, and to think that you could go on slapping law enforcement in the face so blatantly for however many years it went on and not provoke a response is foolish.

Basically, I'm not at all surprised Zoe was raided, given that the shit that went on was an undercover cop's wet dream. I almost feel like the raid was justified. I'm completely for music festivals and their drug scenes as long as there's also an element of happiness, good vibes, and safety. Schwagstock may have started this way, but it sure as hell wasn't this way in the end. Jimmy may be a great guy, but the fact remains that this once-good place was polluted by some very bad elements. I hope he isn't found accountable for this, but it went on for so long that he doesn't come out looking good.

berry_good
berry_good

Thanks for giving the Grateful Dead a black-eye !!!!

Danieljoeoconnor
Danieljoeoconnor

"and it allows them to do a virtual perp walk ...." that's correct and they're [dea, homeland security] hoping he doesn't get a hair cut or alter his appearance from what is shown in the photo.

Msimpson1515
Msimpson1515

How much money are we spending to ensure freedom overseas and yet we are continuing to loose our freedoms and civil rights in our own country? What a complete joke the USA has become. 

Danieljoeoconnor
Danieljoeoconnor

hahaha !!!! it's very funny and sooo obvious most people on here have zero experience with the judicial system.  most people believe that going to court is all about getting everything out in the open for the jury and the court to see. however, with a little tweaking  it is exactly the opposite.  it's all about cherrypicking a redneck mean judge, a redneck mean prosecutor and a redneck mean jury and then trotting jimmy out for display and basically saying :  now look at this long haired dreadlocked degenerate blah blah blah ....  it matters not one iota as to how the police did not try to stop drug activity etc.. maybe, just maybe the judge will let jimmy's lawyer even utter that accusation .  haha you will see.  welcome to the NW [law and] ORDER.

Joethreesix
Joethreesix

The Missouri house of Representatives honored Jimmy with House Resolution No. 3899.because his entrepreneurship and creativity help to broaden and deepen the economic foundations of local communities and neighborhoods.this act even mentions Camp Zoe.

what leg do the feds even have to stand on? The state has said in their act that this was a legit business that helped their economy and that Jimmy is a stand up guy.

Bill Hannegan
Bill Hannegan

Has a trial date been set? Friends of Jimmy need to show up in big numbers.

Right Thinker
Right Thinker

Throw this drug loving hippie in jail. Give his land to someone who will not promote drug use and deviant behavior. God Bless law enforcement for taking a stand against his drug festivals.

Danieljoeoconnor
Danieljoeoconnor

i never been to his place i bet if he goes before a judge, jury, and prosecutor with those nasty looking dread locks they take all his sh!t and put his @ss in the penistentery.

Annetebeau
Annetebeau

TAX EVASION????????? THEY FROZE HIS BANK ACCOUNT SO HE COULDN'T PAY TAXES............NOW THEY HAVE PETITIONED THE COURT FOR THE BANK MONEY FOR THEMSELVES........DON'T BANK ROBBERS GO TO JAIL?????????

Hippie  Haven Inc.
Hippie Haven Inc.

THAT IS THE BIGGEST BUNCH OF CRAP I HAVE READ LATELY TO ALL YOU STUPID PEOPLE ZOE IS ABOUT MUSIC AND FAMILY JIMMY TEBEAU IS A GREAT MAN AND A AWESOME MUSICIAN AND AS YOU TRY TO PUSH THIS INJUSTICE WE STAND BEHIND HIM IN THE THOUSANDS SCREAMING SAVE CAMP ZOE ITS ABOUT HUGS NOT DRUGS WE ALSO STAND BEHIND HIM AS LONG TIME FANS AND DRIENDS WHOS CALLIN BS ON THESE CHARGES ITS A LIE THAT MYSELF AND MANY OTHERS WILL STAND UP AND BE HEARD GET A NEW IDEA PIGGYS THIS ONE WILL NEVER WORK EITHER 

 

Chaspari
Chaspari

Freaking pigs. There's a reason I left Missouri for good some 25 years ago, and it is these incompetent, hypocritical mouth-breathing misanthropes that seem to rule the roost out there that are it. I have to hold my nose every time I come back to the place.

High time for the powers that be to be voted out. Can you do that, Missouri???

Geno
Geno

If the Government must prove that there was an exclusive drug motive in moving Schwagstock to Camp Zoe this is a clear win for Jimmy.

500+ jobs are gone from tourism in the closing of Camp Zoe. Missouri needed those jobs in Shannon County. Families are suffering due to this US Attorney's misconduct. Call your Congressman and US Senator and ask for her to be dismissed for this witch hunt.

Jimmy stop being kind to these evil Government officials. Sue for every wrong done to you and your business. The road blocks, the bribery officials demanded, the refusal to provide police protection to your business, the interference with buisness, and now wrongful prosacution.

Hit them back in the same federal and state court houses you must fight for you rights in. The people of Shannon county are ready to award massive sums of money for the wrongs government have brought upon you.

Nothanksimovedon
Nothanksimovedon

any sane person who ever went to these knows this place had it coming.  yeah man its about the music..... fuck off it was a place to get fucked up...... time to move on!  FAIL! 

monique
monique

Total crap. A wonderful person and kick ass musician. Behind you 100% jimmy .

Kt anne
Kt anne

That is crazyness..that man has a love for music and wants to share it with other people! That is the entire purpose of a "music festival" and what people do on their own time is their own business..and out of Jimmy's control! I hope he fights back for himself, wins, and can continue to bring the music into our ears!

Brad Payne
Brad Payne

Having the great opportunity to play Schwagstock on a couple occasions, I would have to say it not only helped our band "Dionysia" make hundreds of new fans but also make great friends. Jimmy is one of the most stand-up, down to earth guys I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with. To be put in this situation is unconstitutional!! Good vibes sent to you Jimmy, and thank you for all you did for not only us, but all the other bands you supported! This will soon pass and Schwagstock will live on!!!!!

Patron
Patron

i went to schwag. i saw cover bands and LOTS  of drugs. no body i saw was there for the music.

Teabarry
Teabarry

I have seen and smelled drugs being consumed at every major concert venue going back more than 40 years. Why this guy? Why this venue? Why not Riverport or whatever they call it these days? Never been to Camp Zoe but it could not have been more open than Riverport unless they were hanging neon signs from the trees and broadcasting over a P.A.

wes
wes

as a person who sees jimmy as a dear freind and as a person who had been going to schwagstocks for over 10 years i can say that jimmy is working so hard on the music and keeping the campers safe to even sit and have a little talk and just hang out. you never see him in the day, he works his ass off for hours each nights and works even harder for the next night. this is full on gov crap and i am sick of being a target because nixon failed at getting all the "hippies" shame on this country..... SHAME!

Rightbooks17
Rightbooks17

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Cyn
Cyn

FREE ZOE!! LONG LIVE THE DEAD!!! <3 JIMMY AND THE SCHWAG!!!

Bill Hannegan
Bill Hannegan

Jimmy Tebeau is a good friend who has played Dead shows at my house. Jimmy may have tolerated more than he should have during concerts at Zoe as I probably did at my Grateful Dead parties, but marijuana use is hard to stop at any Dead event. People light up without asking whenever and wherever Dead music is playing. This is not necessarily some evil plan on the part of the property owner.

Katie Bange
Katie Bange

This is your tax dollars at work, my friends! Can you even imagine the resources required to fund this witch hunt? And for what... MONEY and outright THEFT of his land. Jimmy Tebeau is responsible for creating the free loving, hug sharing, peaceful environment so many hundreds of thousands of kind folks across this country have embraced and incorporated into their lifestyles.Literally hundreds of (now household name) bands have gotten their start on Jimmys' stage. How can they possibly claim that Schwagstock is not about the music? This entire assertion by the US Attorneys office is downright insulting, to ALL of us! Schwagstock has changed so many thousands of lives, including my own. It has shown a beautiful light that has graced our existence and propagated kindness.. Regardless of any minor (harmless) drug use they may claim as affirmation, it is simply insane to assert responsibility on one single man for any such use. Jimmy has worked his ass off for twenty years to preserve and perpetuate the music and vibe of the Grateful Dead. I am sure that these headlines have made him much more famous than he ever desired. Surely- he knows, I know, and anyone who has had the privilege of sharing the Schwag love... that this is not the way to repay him. For all of those that hold The Schwag and our beautiful Camp Zoe to heart, remember that if all runs full circle. For all of the opportunities and grateful vibes that Jimmy has spread in our souls, justice can only prevail in the end. And for those who have not yet had the chance to join in, we hope to see you in the future.  Happy Schwag Everyone!

Bill Hannegan
Bill Hannegan

"...Tebeau consciously managed the concerts and campground for the specific purpose of facilitating the distribution and use of multiple controlled substances by the concert patrons."

They are saying that drugs, not music, was the real purpose of Zoe and the Schwag. Not true.

Bo
Bo

I wonder how they will explain the fact that there was nearly always a few cops walking around the festivals??

david mowers
david mowers

Just wait until the "heads" get what they want and all drugs are legal for recreational use!

Pick up The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury to get a feel for what life will be like daily, which it sounds like you experienced. You'll especially love the gangster who bets people two dollars he's strong enough to snap a mans' spine and does it nightly at local bars for extra money.

Jeff Wiegand
Jeff Wiegand

Thanks for reminding me of this. What's funny is that he took the property over from some bible-thumping freak who let it all go to hell. It's one of the most beautiful places in Missouri and Jimmy (and family/friends/neighbors) brought it back. 

wow
wow

 lol i would like to see all the people showing up at the court house.  No one would leave because they all would get arrested.  Then they would be like “man this was a set up, they put up road blocks at the front door”  no son that would be a metal detector and they pat down everyone. 

Correct Thinker
Correct Thinker

^ freedom hating hater.  What people choose to put into their bodies for better or worse is their own business.  

This whole hypocrisy of a country tries to shove drugs down your throat every day. From budweiser to marlboros to viagra.  Not to mention the DARE program that tells kids about drugs then tells them to never ever do them. What load of crap. Everyone knows when you tell kids not do something, they just want to do it more. 

Cheers to the greatest Hypocracy in the world U.S. of A!

Sarab816
Sarab816

You know nothing about the spirituality and love that goes into dreads. Don't fuck with his dreads, there is more important things to worry about, your going in the fucking kick ass, then make peace book all ya other dread heads will back me on that.

Keborne
Keborne

please leave your mean comments out of this conversation...this mans life and business are at stake here...camp zoe was one of the most beautiful places I`ve ever been to, so like my grandma used to say......if you can`t say anything nice than please shut up !

david mowers
david mowers

You obviously have never dealt with federal law, the government's "burden of proof" was proved by drug sales being done on the property. Here is the rule of thumb with the feds, if they indict, arrest or prosecute you it is because they already have a slam dunk case. They NEVER arrest unless their case is a win and federal judges set evidentiary rules on a case by case basis. This guy and his property are finished.

Sarab816
Sarab816

ur dumb, sure music intensified the drug, but the drug intensified the music, fuck all you anti-druggists out there it's peop'tle like you that ruin the fun for everyone, I'm a peaceful chick,and don't like generalizations nor politics, but your a republican cover , probably getting your fix as you rat out all the others, Your the sketchy one people talk about that go to schwagstocks, a fake hippie....Feds with mfing dreads.

wes
wes

we must not have met. what a dumb generalization of you to make. dont toss a blanket over all of us. shame on you.

JJ
JJ

How long have you been working undercover???

bobmarley
bobmarley

I went there for the camping and the music. The campitheatre was an awesome idea as a venue for music and the festivals always offered a good lineup of artists. I never bought or sold any drugs at Camp Zoe. I still have some of the old brochures that they handed out when you paid for your ticket and entered the property. They all have NO ILLICIT DRUG USE OR SALES stated under the rules section. I can also think of at least two occasions where the guy at the entrance asked to check my car trunk to make sure I didn't have anything illegal.

wes
wes

its a fight on the dreadlock hippies that the gov fears so much. the DEA was set up at its start to fight "the new left. AKA "hippies", thus weed is a  schedule 1 narcotic when we all know it cant kill you and can be used as meds. its all crap and new ways to keep the people in place... just go ask a black guy in east st louis. they live it each day.

Dead Lover
Dead Lover

Am I the only one thinking here --why hasnt someone tried to contact the Grateful Dead -band members etc -they have plenty of cash and support -CAMP ZOE -was created in their honer to keep the wonderful iconic music flowing to the younger generations to follow --am I way off here -didnt Gans play at the stock

Danieljoeoconnor
Danieljoeoconnor

i am on YOUR side.  i want him to win his court appearances.  i'm sorry if i hurt anyone's feelings but it's better than to have him goto court and the judge starts mocking him about his hair.  i'm a pot smoking hippie and i hope jimmy gets his money and land back and that's why i'm saying " jimmy get your hair cut before you go to court and stand in front of a cherrypicked redneck jury, mean judge and prosecutor cause they will tear your @ss up. i'm speaking from experience. the judge and prosecutor will mock him and make fun of him .  i had a judge almost throw me in jail just cause i wasn't wearing a freakin neck tie !!  you have no clue.

bobmarley
bobmarley

Obviously there were a lot of drugs making it past security and they weren't out trying to babysit all 7000 patrons to make sure nobody was doing drugs. But seriously how can you expect anyone to do that? This is just a serious waste of time and resources by the FEDS.

Dead Lover
Dead Lover

here how you get it started ---posters -shirts --email -chat -flood every thing with" SAVE CAMP ZOE " grateful dead channel -websites -airwaves -bars -media -----just a thought --start the revolt people----or just sit back and take the fucking and like it --

Sarab816
Sarab816

I think Jesus really had dreads and they mocked him, but you shouldn't have to change who you are to be heard.... kinda like the song, signs signs everywhere signs, Long haired people need not apply so he tucked his hair up in his hat and then took it off and said Imagine that. you know where I am going with this. I want Jimmy to win too.

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