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LSD - Chicago man on trial in Buncombe for selling LSD at String Cheese concert

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Chicago man on trial in Buncombe for selling LSD at String Cheese concert

    ASHEVILLE — A Chicago man who authorities say sold LSD to people attending a 2006 String Cheese Incident concert is standing trial on drug trafficking charges. It’s one of the most notable hallucinogenic cases in recent city memory.

    Benjamin Thomas Schaeffer was caught with more than 6,000 doses of the hallucinogenic drug in a parking lot across from the Civic Center on Oct. 6 of that year, Assistant District Attorney Chris Hess said. Schaeffer is accused of possessing more than three times the entire amount of LSD seized by officers during last fiscal year, records show.

    Hess told a Buncombe County jury in opening statements Wednesday that undercover officers moved in after watching people repeatedly come up to Schaeffer and give him cash in exchange for items he pulled from his pocket.

    Asheville police were conducting surveillance because the jam band had a reputation for attracting illegal drug users to its concerts, the prosecutor said.

    Officers found more than 1,200 hits of LSD in his jacket and about another 5,600 doses in a bag in his car, he said. They also found marijuana, hashish and ecstasy in the vehicle.

    The bust was “very significant” in terms of the sheer volume of LSD seized, Police Department spokeswoman Melissa Williams said. Officers seized 1,857 hits of LSD between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

    Schaeffer, 30, is charged with three counts of trafficking in LSD, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and ecstasy and maintaining a vehicle for drugs.

    Hess said police found tickets on Schaeffer to other String Cheese Incident concerts in the region.

    Schaeffer also was charged with failure to appear in court on a felony. Hess said authorities had to extradite him from California to Asheville to stand trial.

    Defense attorney Bert Neal declined to make an opening statement to the jury.


    CLARKE MORRISON • NOVEMBER 19, 2009

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20091119/NEWS01/911190324

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Man gets 14 years for selling LSD at Asheville String Cheese Incident concert

    ASHEVILLE — A Chicago man will spend more than 14 years in prison for selling LSD and other drugs to patrons of a String Cheese Incident concert.

    A Buncombe County jury found Benjamin Thomas Schaeffer guilty in a trial this week of trafficking the hallucinogenic drug from his car in a parking lot outside the Civic Center, where the jam band was performing on Oct. 6, 2006.

    Police conducting a surveillance operation caught Schaeffer with more than 6,000 hits of LSD in one of the city's largest seizures of the drug.

    "He was caught red-handed," Assistant District Attorney Chris Hess said in closing arguments to the jury Thursday. "Mr. Schaeffer is no different than anyone else who brings that poison into our community. He just happened to be doing it in downtown Asheville."

    Defense attorney Bert Neal told jurors there were holes in the state's evidence. He cited a lack of videotape or photographs of Schaeffer's alleged transactions.

    "There is so much missing," Schaeffer said. "I would hope in a case with consequences this serious to have the best evidence you could get."

    Schaeffer, 30, was convicted of two counts of trafficking in LSD and possession with intent to sell and deliver Ecstasy and marijuana.

    Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg sentenced the defendant to 175-219 months in state prison and ordered him to pay a $200,000 fine.

    Hess said that undercover officers moved in after watching people repeatedly come up to Schaeffer and give him cash in exchange for items he pulled from his pocket. Police were conducting surveillance because String Cheese Incident had a reputation for attracting illegal drug users to its concerts, the prosecutor said.

    Police also found tickets on Schaeffer to other String Cheese Incident concerts in the region. Hess said the man's trial was delayed because he fled and had to be extradited from California.


    By Clarke Morrison
    NOVEMBER 21, 2009

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20091121/NEWS01/311210002
  2. Raoul duke420
    Sad to hear this guy got so much time, another life fucked up by unfair drug laws-
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