DA will charge Willie Nelson’s crew (Source)
District Attorney Dewey Hudson said six Willie Nelson band members charged with having marijuana and moonshine at a January show in Kenansville, N.C. “are not above the law.”
Substances — believed to be marijuana by N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agents who confiscated it from band members Jan. 28 — are being tested at the SBI crime lab in Raleigh, he said.
The six members of Nelson’s band who were issued citations on either possession of marijuana or possession of non-tax-paid alcohol were outside the Duplin County Events Center when ALE agents allegedly smelled burning marijuana coming from the band’s bus.
Nelson, who had not yet arrived, canceled the show. His staff said the show was called off because the musician’s hand was hurting. Many of Nelson’s fans waiting for the show said they felt it was canceled because of the bust.
N.C. State Sen. Charlie Albertson, D-District 10, who is not seeking re-election, recorded a song critical of ALE and the charges filed against Nelson’s band.
He said it appears ALE made a special effort to bust the band.
Although critics say ALE agents were playing cowboy that night, Hudson said ALE told him previous events at the venue had became unruly and they were asked by local law enforcement to help monitor the crowd.
An ALE spokesman said the bust was coincidental, but Albertson said ALE’s codename for the event was “Operation On the Road Again,” named for one of Nelson’s most recognizable chart-topping songs.
Attorneys for the band have alluded they will claim selective prosecution in that ALE focused on band members because they were famous.
Charges are also pending against the event manager, who is accused of interfering with the ALE. Charges against some show attendees who were cited with minor alcohol violations have been dismissed.
I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong? ~ Willie Nelson