Police, DA Drug Sweep Lands Multiple Arrests At Blue Heron Festival


NYSP at the Blue Heron Festival checking vehicles. File image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

SHERMAN – A four-day investigation into drug use and sales at the Blue Heron Musical Festival by New York State Police, Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson and other law enforcement officials netted multiple arrests, with more expected, according to the State Police.

NY State Police – Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) members and Troopers from the Jamestown, Fredonia and Collins offices took part in this investigation, as did the Jamestown Police Department, NYS Forest Rangers, Chautauqua County Probation and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.

Several people were arrested and money, drugs and property was seized.



 

Nathaniel A. Holland, 55, of Buffalo, was charged with Imitation Controlled Substance, and possession of marijuana. The defendant has a long criminal history with numerous violent felonies, police said.



 

Kyle N. Neubeck, 24, of North Collins, was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Michael J. Golden, 27 of Jamestown, was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Joshua A. Reeves, 33, of North East, Pa., was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said Reeves is pending an analysis of a third buy, an AII felony.

Jacob L. Gilbert, 33, of North East, Pa., was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, second degree felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest. Gilbert is also pending lab analysis of a third buy, an AII  felony.

Joseph J. Violanti, 27, Eden, was charged with four counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Patrick J. Summers, 23, Deposit, was charged with three counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

In addition, Troopers also made eight arrests for unlawful possession of marijuana, three arrests for fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, three arrests for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two arrests for driving while intoxicated.

A quantity of drugs was also seized. All told, police seized one Dodge Ram Pickup and camper, more than $3,000, Cocaine, synthetic Cocaine, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), mushrooms, concentrated cannabis, marijuana edibles, diazepam and alprazolam.

State Trooper Capt. Eric Balon said the sweep would not have been possible without so much assistance.

“Every year during the Blue Heron Festival weekend, the N.Y. State Police increase patrols in the Sherman area and we usually get a large number of arrests. This year we changed our tactics and I believe the results speak for themselves. This wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance and support of the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office and Jamestown Police Department.”
Captain Eric J Balon

“The Chautauqua County District Attorney’s office offers it’s thanks to the State Police for making this operation a success.  The Blue Heron Festival brings a large number of people into our county.  We want to see the event be successful and also comport to the organizers assertion that this is a family friendly festival.  Illegal drug activity should not hamper a family’s ability to enjoy an otherwise great event.  Having grown up in Sherman I know the town and the emergency responders appreciate the efforts the State Police have invested into policing the festival.” District Attorney Patrick Swanson said.

“Every year during the Blue Heron Festival weekend, the NY State Police increase patrols in the Sherman area and we usually get a large number of arrests. This year we changed our tactics and I believe the results speak for themselves,” Balon said “This wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance and support of the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office and Jamestown Police Department.”

3 Comments

  1. That festival was started by potheads and somehow now they want it cleaned up, calling it family friendly event. Kinda ironic isn’t it? I agree that the hard drugs are ruining this area. Local law enforcement has done a great job lately cleaning up the town. It’s good to see some of them getting lengthy prison sentences as well. No more slaps on the wrist that Jamestown was notorious for doing. But to make arrests for marijuana is ridiculous and it’s just a profiteering gig. It’s all about the money with marijuana. Nobody does time for it unless it’s time served leading up to court. Maybe a 5-7 day stay. Instead of worrying about a little marijuana, spend that time on the hard drug dealers selling meth, crack, cocaine, heroin, mushrooms, acid, mdma, etc. Marijuana & alcohol deserve to be regulated but it is time to change with the times. Marijuana has many medical uses and could be researched so much further if the federal government would remove the plant from the Schedule 1 Drug List. Remember, it’s all about the money!!!

  2. Just for fun, I did the math. Using FBI statistics for 2017, there was 1 drug related arrest per every 0.14 people in the US. During the Blue Heron Festival, the rate of arrests to attendees this year was 0.12. In my opinion, you’d have a better chance of getting heavy drug dealers off the street if you focused on school playgrounds or local grocery store than a family centered music festival like this.

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