Jimmy Tebeau is being charged under a statute normally used to target crack houses, his lawyer says.
We touched base this morning with Scott Rosenblum, widely thought to be one of the best criminal defense lawyers
in St. Louis -- and, not so coincidentally, the guy representing Jimmy Tebeau.
Tebeau, 44, was indicted by a grand jury last week
on one felony count of "maintaining a drug-involved premises."
That charge came seven months after the United States government first filed paperwork to seize Tebeau's 350-acre property in rural Missouri, Camp Zoe. Camp Zoe's home to the popular Schwagstock music festivals -- but the feds allege that "Tebeau consciously managed the concerts and campground for the specific
purpose of facilitating the distribution and use of multiple controlled
substances by the concert patrons." If they can prove that, it could be enough to allow them to seize the property under a process called "asset forfeiture."
But, as Rosenblum vowed in a phone call this morning, Tebeau is not giving up without a fight: "We intend to enter a plea of not guilty and mount a vigorous defense."
As Rosenblum confirmed, the charge of "maintaining a drug-involved premises" is unusual. "It's not used often," he says -- and particularly not for a concert promoter/musician. "Historically, it was designed for use against crack houses."
As for the feds' claim that Camp Zoe was operated specifically for the purpose of drug sales and consumption, Rosenblum says, "I think there would be thousands and thousands of music fans who would disagree with that."
Rosenblum says he expects the criminal case to take precedence over the feds' seizure attempts. The government is also trying to take at least $250,000 in cash from Tebeau, saying that they should get a share of Camp Zoe's gate receipts because of the rampant drug use on the property.