Church of Universal Love And Music Raided

By chillinwill · Aug 2, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    The Fayette County Drug Task Force Saturday conducted a raid at the Church of Universal Love and Music in Bullskin Township, netting numerous drugs and paraphernalia and filing charges against 22 people.

    Fayette County District Attorney Nancy Vernon confirmed that charges were filed with District Judge Joseph George, including against vendors at the Bullskin Township nondenominational church, where the second day of what its Web site called "Funk Fest" was taking place.

    At least two people were charged with possession with intent to deliver, she said.

    Vernon said the raid was conducted after execution of a search warrant yesterday and included two vanloads of people and two truckloads of paraphernalia and drugs.

    She said the haul included "pounds" of psilocybin mushrooms (a hallucinogen), LSD, pills believed to be Oxycontin, marijuana, scales, more than 1,000 pipes and smoking devices.

    She said the task force set up two undercover operations at the site in May and July.

    "They (undercover officers) openly watched people using drugs, selling drugs," Vernon said. "The basis of the two visits was for the issuance of a search warrant by the court of common pleas."

    "I'm so proud of the task force," she said

    More than 800 people and vendors attended the May and July events the undercover officers attended.

    "This was a very dangerous situation," she said.

    Nearly 40 officers, including task force members, state police, the county sheriff's office and medics assisted with the raid.

    "The purpose of doing this was to establish that there is a lot of criminal activity going on up there," Vernon said.

    She plans to present "concrete proof" of that activity to the county with the goal of appealing to the federal courts to shut down the church..

    In March, church founder William "Willie" Pritts dropped his religious-freedom lawsuit after Fayette County officials agreed to allow him to resume holding rock concerts on his 147-acre property.

    Pritts could not be reached for comment last night.

    By Mary Pickels
    August 2, 2009
    Pittsburg Tribune Review

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  1. Alfa
    Its amazing and disturbing that the US justice/court system is allowed to blackmail and bribe defendants, into waiving their rights and legal defences.
  2. missparkles
    That's the war on terror Alfa. If he hadn't he could have been picked up in the dead of night and be taking swimming lessons in Guantanamo as I write.:eek:
  3. anonuser30500
    After Waco, nothing surprises me.

    Americans have their rights - more than most nations, but so few exercise them that the government seems to able to employ enough people to elbow lock and truncheon anyone who is in possession of a bong of mass distractions.

    My guess is that anyone consuming mushrooms and smoking a sly reefer is not about to commit acts of terror.

    But, who knows, maybe Osama is whacked out on top class gear as we speak.
  4. missparkles
    The Patriot Act enables the government to call the shots. They can now call it just what they like. They don't have to tell you why they're arresting you. (is it even arrest, no recourse to legal protection)
    That was my meaning.;)
  5. ninjaned
    this entire situation is so fucked up. people shouldn't have to be used to being persecuted merely for putting things in their body that other people(and what gives them this right?) decide shouldn't be in the body. so they like rock and sometimes they prefer to see the world differently, how does that make them criminal? its not that the system is a little off and needs improvement, the system is wrong and needs total reconstruction.
  6. bman1
    BULLSKIN, Pa., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A police task force says it has raided a Pennsylvania "church" officials contend is merely a venue for music concerts and illegal drug use.

    Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement the Fayette County Drug Task Force carried out several arrests Saturday at the Church of Universal Love and Music in Bullskin, Pa., about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

    The arrests came after a settlement had been reached between the church and Fayette County, in which the county paid $75,000 to settle allegations the church's First Amendment right to freedom of religion had been violated by not allowing it to host music concerts. The county had reportedly claimed the church had no religious purpose.

    As part of the settlement, the Church of Universal Love and Music was allowed to host no more than six weekend events and six Saturday-only events each year, the Post-Gazette said
  7. chillinwill
    Fayette Co. Man Plans To Sell Farm, Move 'Music Church'

    County Unhappy With Church Of Universal Love And Music

    A Fayette County man plans to sell the farm where he held jam band concerts he said were religious services and move his Church of Universal Love and Music to another location.

    William Pritts sued Fayette County in 2006, saying officials violated his religious freedom by using zoning restrictions to stop the concerts. Earlier this year, the county paid Pritts $75,000 and agreed to let him host 12 concerts a year, provided drugs and other illegal activities were banned.

    The county claimed the original settlement was breached, and got a temporary order to shut down the church in August, after a county drug task force raided a concert Aug. 1 and arrested 22 people on drug charges.

    District Attorney Nancy Vernon said mushrooms, LSD, OxyContin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found at the outdoor "Funk Fest" concert on Aug. 1. About 20 people were arrested.

    Attorneys for Pritts and the county said they're negotiating a permanent ban on the concerts at Pritts' farm about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

    October 21, 2009
    The Pittsburg Channel
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