Schwagstock's Jimmy Tebeau Gets 30-Month Sentence for "Drug-Involved Premises"
A federal judge in Cape Girardeau sentenced St. Louis-based concert promoter James Tebeau to 30 months in prison yesterday for the crime of "maintaining a drug-involved premises" on his 350-acre farm in rural Shannon County.
Tebeau playin' in the band -- The Schwag
Law-enforcement officials closed down the farm -- known as Camp Zoe and home to Tebeau's "Schwagstock" music festivals -- in the fall of 2010 on charges that the venue served as an illegal drug bazaar where people openly sold marijuana, cocaine, LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, ecstasy and various other banned substances such as moonshine and hash brownies.
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Tebeau, the frontman in the Grateful Dead cover band the Schwag, has never been charged with dealing any drugs, though he has admitted to knowing of the drug sales on his property and instructing his security team to eject anyone selling crack, meth, heroin or nitrous oxide on the property.
Tebeau pleaded guilty in June to the "drug-involved premises" charge on the condition that he would immediately appeal the way prosecutors used the statute against him. The law was designed to target crack houses -- not concert venues. United States Attorney Richard Callahan noted that while it was unusual to allow a defendant to appeal as part of a plea agreement, the unique circumstances in this case justified the exception.
In addition to the prison sentence, Tebeau was fined $50,000, and ordered to serve 200 hours of community service. He has also agreed to forfeit his farm to the government.
As RFT Music reported yesterday, the sentencing didn't seem to faze Tebeau too much. He was scheduled to play last night with the Jerry Garcia Band at the Old Rock House.