Schwagstock Organizer Jimmy Tebeau Pleads Guilty to "Drug-Involved Premises"
|Tebeau as a performer in The Schwag Band, which the feds note is a slang term for low-grade marijuana.|
With crowds averaging 5,000 people per Schwagstock, authorities estimate that $500,000 worth of drugs were sold during a typical weekend festival with some 100 to 200 drug dealers working the crowds. And while Tebeau did not partake in any drug dealing himself, authorities say he allowed the sales to take place on his property and had a discerning taste for what drugs were available at Schwagstock.
Tebeau-approved drugs included marijuana, mushrooms, ecstacy, cocaine LSD, MDMA, opium, moonshine and hash brownies and cookies, according to a statement from the U..S. Attorney's Office. Meanwhile, Tebeau allegedly instructed his employees to eject anyone selling crack, meth, heroin or nitrous oxide.
In pleading guilty yesterday to the somewhat obscure and controversial charge of "maintaining a drug-involved premises," the 44-year-old Tebeau also agreed to forfeit his 350-acre property to the federal government, although he was returned $188,000 previously seized by the government.
Tebeau's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, tells Riverfront Times that the plea also allows for Tebeau to appeal the court's denial of his motion to dismiss the indictment.
"We're challenging the interpretation of the statute that he was having the festivals for the substantial purpose of allowing drug sales and not for the music," says Rosenblum.
If the court approves the plea deal at a hearing in September and denies the appeal of the indictment, Tebeau could begin serving a 30-month sentence this fall. But Rosenblum says his client would likely apply for a residential drug-abuse program that could knock a year or more off his prison time.
For more information on Tebeau's saga, check out RFT's in-depth story, Shakedown Street.