HAMPTON, Va. - Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2009 and pertains to the three-day reunion Phish concert at the Hampton Coliseum in March of 2009.
Police say there were nearly 200 arrests during the Phish concert tour over the weekend, most for drug violations.
Hampton Police had more than one hundred officers on duty each night in the Coliseum, in the parking lots, and on surrounding roads. Cpl. Paula Ensley said nine other jurisdictions assisted Hampton Police with law enforcement throughout the weekend.
There were 81 Felony arrests and 113 Misdemeanor arrests for a total of 194 plus 119 Felony charges and 126 Misdemeanor charges.An additional 46 criminal summonses were issued. Police seized more than $1.2 million worth of narcotics and more than $69-thousand inU.S. currency.
"The Coliseum is sold out for all three days at 13,000," said Ensley. "Not to mention the people that are going to be showing up that don't have tickets."
An overflowing fish bowl, police said fans will have to obey all laws while they're at the venue they call the mother ship.
"In the City of Hampton, they have to have a peddlers license to sell anything, " Ensley said. "It's a summons able office, and we are going to have officers that are looking into that kind of thing."
That means, even though a federal judge did not grant all of the bands wishes concerning bootlegged merchandise, local laws give police the power to act.
US District Judge Raymond Jackson said he would not take action to allow seizure of counterfeit items.
WAVY.com discovered local ordinances in Hampton do permit police to confiscate unauthorized goods for sale.
One vendor, who did not want to be identified, told WAVY.com he sells jewelry. He said in the past he'd been allowed to sell his goods in the parking lot, with other vendors selling drinks and food.
On Friday, he said he was turned away when he tried to set up a booth near the building.
"A lot of people are depending on this for income this weekend,and now they're not going to be able to unless they go all the way over to a field," the vendor said. "There's no one out there."
The jam band Phish is reunited and bringing people from all over the nation and the world for a few days of concerts and fun.
Andrew Scinto, of Connecticut said, "I was here in 2003. It was amazing. The energy is out of this world. It's probably the coolest venue I've ever been to."
Bret Berman traveled from Colorado because he said, "The venue is legendary in phishlore."
A team from Alcoholic Beverage Control showed up early to inform, and enforce Virginia's drinking laws.
For those not heading into the Coliseum for the concerts or the Bluegrass Festival also happening in the area, police are want your help through the weekend.
"We're asking people just be patient with us," Ensley said. "We're going to have a lot of cars in our city that aren't normally here on a regular basis."
A multi-jurisdictional effort of law enforcement covered the event. The Drug Enforcement Agency, Virginia State Police, Newport News Police, Alcohol Beverage Control, Poquoson Police, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Hampton Sheriff's Office assisted the Hampton Police Department.
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