Numerous underage drinking citations issued at Firefly

DOVER — Several out of state visitors made an unexpected trip before departing the city Monday morning.

A steady stream of late teen to 20-year-olds arrived at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in the downtown area to settle alcohol-related citations received during the 2018 Firefly Music Festival.

Based on court documents, nearly 30 citations for underage entering a liquor establishment were written on Friday and Saturday. The charge came with a $50 fine plus additional court costs and victim’s compensation fund fees to pay.

The Delaware Department of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement said warning signs about the illegality of entering a liquor store when age 20 or younger were posted at alcohol-selling businesses near the music festival at Dover International Speedway on U.S. 13.

At one point Monday morning, two Firefly attendees openly traded stories about their tickets in the public JP Court waiting room at 480 Bank Lane. The Maryland and New York residents said they were surprised by the enforcement efforts here compared to where they lived.

The Maryland man said he routinely enters liquor stores at home without being cited, and said he left a fake ID card in his vehicle before being contacted by a DATE agent who issued a citation. Also, the man said, he was accompanied by a 21-year-old. The New Yorker accepted responsibility for the infraction and the “half a gram” he was allegedly found with, then referenced all the “beer and Budweiser type” signs posted next to the warnings on liquor store entrances.

“I’m from New York and not used to this (when it comes to entering liquor stores), but whatever,” a defendant expressed to a front desk attendant as he filled out court paperwork.

Another seemingly distraught minor giggled slightly when told that she was placed on probation upon entering the JP Court to handle her ticket, but that status expired when she met the requirements and left the building.

Nearly all the liquor store entry violations cited listed out of state defendants – split nearly evenly between males and females – from Maryland, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Connecticut, hailing from places like Ypsilanti, Brookfield, Hackettstown, Berwyn, Sterling, Aberdeen, and New Hyde Park, among others. The lone Delawarean listed in the warrants hailed from Rehoboth Beach.

Other incidents reported

On Monday, Dover Police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman described the crowd as “well behaved. We saw the usual incidents we see at these types of events including trespass incidents, disorderly subjects, the occasional fight, but most if not all were resolved without arrest.

“The biggest issues we faced this weekend were the rash of cell phone thefts and the unfortunate passing of a festival attendee.”

• Authorities reported Sunday that a 20-year-old Philadelphia woman was found unconscious near her campsite at 6:30 a.m. and pronounced dead at 6:55 a.m. after transport to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover. No foul play was suspected, police said, and an autopsy and toxicology results were pending. Police said Monday toxicology results can take several weeks to produce.

• Also on Monday, Dover Police reported in a news release they investigated “several cell phone thefts as the result of pick pocket suspects being in the large crowds (Friday night into early Saturday morning).

“The (alleged) victim who had her phone taken was able to track the phone using the ‘Find my iPhone’ app.”

William Rodriguez

Dover and Delaware State Police officers tracked the phone to William Rodriguez, 34, of Miami, Florida, and took him into custody authorities said. He was allegedly found with 27 cell phones when contacted, including the initial device that was tracked, police said. Police were working to identify and return the cell phones to their owners.

Mr. Rodriguez was charged with three counts of theft under $1,500, with additional charges pending. He was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in default of $3,000 cash bond.

• On Friday at 7:11 p.m., a 24-year-old South Carolina man was arrested after allegedly fleeing from a police investigation into counterfeit merchandise. Dover Police said undercover officers allegedly saw Hassan Mceachin, of Tillman, selling counterfeit Firefly T-shirts in camping Lot 2.

Hassan Mceachin

“When they attempted to make contact with Mceachin, he fled on foot,” Cpl. Hoffman said. “Officers were able to take Mceachin into custody, but he continued to struggle, causing minor injuries to a Dover officers’ left arm.”

Police claimed Mr. Mceachin was allegedly found in possession of 37 counterfeit T-shirts, $850 in cash/proceeds, and one gram of marijuana.

Charges included second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, trademark counterfeiting, resisting arrest with force or violence, possession of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Mr. Mceachin was held at JTVCC in default of $18,400 bond.

• Two Ohio men were arrested after allegedly selling Ecstasy to undercover officers on the camping grounds on Friday afternoon at 2:36 p.m., authorities said. Zachary Williams, 23, of Canal Fulton, and Edward Hartmann, 21, of Orrville, were allegedly involved in a 1.4 gram transactions. A search of their vehicles allegedly brought the discovery of 33 grams of Ecstasy, 4.6 grams of cocaine, 1.1 grams of marijuana, and a digital scale.

Charges included delivery of MDMA/Ecstasy, possession of MDMA (Tier 5), possession with intent to deliver cocaine, second-degree conspiracy, possession with intent to deliver MDMA, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The men were both released on separate $142,300 unsecured bonds.

• Shakir Styles, 23, of Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested on drug charges after amphetamine pills were allegedly sold to an undercover Dover Police officer late Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The alleged transaction took place at 4:20 p.m. in Firefly camping lot 2. Mr. Styles allegedly attempted to flee during an attempt to take him into custody and tossed a bag with more pills. The bag was picked up by another person who could not be located,, police said.

Mr. Styles was arrested and allegedly also found with seven marijuana cigarettes weighing 6.5 grams.

Charges included delivery of amphetamine pills, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, tampering with physical evidence, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Styles was committed to JTVCC in lieu of $7,500 secured bond.

• On Saturday afternoon at 1:45 p.m., police said, Parris Hearn, 27, of Norfolk, Virginia was allegedly found in possession of 200 doses of LSD, police said. He was contacted during an undercover operation, according to authorities.

Charges included possession with intent to deliver LSD and possession of LSD in a Tier 3 Quantity. Mr. Hearn was committed to JTVCC in lieu of $5,000 cash bond.

• An alleged sale of LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms to an undercover officer Saturday afternoon brought the arrest of Andrew Arbieto, 23, of Alexandria, Virginia, police said.

According to authorities, the alleged incident took place at 2:40 p.m. Authorities said Mr. Arbieto was found in possession of 30 doses of LSD and 32 grams of Psilocybin Mushrooms, brass knuckles, and 9mm ammunition.

Charges included possession with intent to deliver LSD, delivery of LSD, possession with intent to deliver Psilocybin Mushrooms, delivery of Psilocybin Mushrooms, drug paraphernalia, possession of LSD (Tier 1), possession of ammunition by person prohibited, and carrying a concealed dangerous instrument (brass knuckles). Mr. Arbieto was committed to JTVCC in lieu of $12,500 cash bond.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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