Tuesday, July 23, 2013

*UPDATE* Temecula: Lightning in a Bottle festival ends with 57 drug arrests and dozens of noise complaints

Temecula, California - The event, known as "Lightning in a Bottle" occurred at Lake Skinner Regional Park between Friday, July 12th and Sunday, July 14th and attracted an estimated crowd of approximately 15,000 each day of the event. Based on tips preceding the event, a large contingent of Riverside County Sheriff's Department personnel took enforcement action against event participants they believed were engaged in illegal activity.

Specifically, Riverside County Sheriff's Department personnel, in conjunction with members from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the state Alcohol and Beverage Control office, detected numerous participants engaged in criminal acts including activity associated with the intent to possess and sell illegal drugs. In the course of drug sales investigations, one individual was also arrested for auto theft. According to many posts on social networks, many of the event attendees who were 'arrested' were detained at Southwest Detention Center and released after 72 hours with no charges.

During the event, many local residents of the agricultural areas surrounding Lake Skinner complained of ridiculously loud music blaring from the festival. Many people have stated in facebook and twitter posts that they were subjected to loud music with thumping bass until late at night. Over 2 dozen complaints have been filed with the county about the potential noise violations. We have not received any details from the county about the alleged noise complaints, nor is it known how many of the complaints came from people who also complain regularly about other large events in the area, like the Balloon and Wine festival.

While at the event, teams from the Sheriff's Department along with DEA, and ABC were able to solicit the sales of illegal drugs and immediately took those responsible into custody, seizing the illegal drugs involved. Several different categories and significant quantities of illegal drugs were seized as a result of the arrests made. The sales of these illegal drug types constitute crimes classified as felonies, all arrested persons were booked into Southwest Detention Center. The names of the arrested individuals* and a list of illegal drugs seized are as follows:
  • Cocaine
  • Ketamine
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Various prescription narcotics (without a doctor's prescription)
  • Psilocybin

*We have removed the names of the arrested persons who attended this event. This goes against our standard protocol to publish all publicly available information. The reason we have taken this step is the information and feedback we have received from people who attended the event. Many of them have posted on Facebook and Twitter about the large amount of police at the event and the tactics that were used to possibly entrap people. The promoters of LIB, 'DoLab', have posted this on the festival facebook page:

"We have just returned from the LIB site, and are deeply disheartened to hear the reports of our attendees who experienced incidences with the law enforcement at LIB this year. We want to express to you our deep concern about this matter, and to let you know that we are listening and we hear you. We are working as quickly as we can to gather information and to address the situation with the authorities and the way that they conducted themselves at Lightning in a Bottle. We knew that there would be a local sheriff presence at our event, as there always has been, however we had absolutely no knowledge that there would be an undercover police presence at LIB." 

"We have been building this community relationship with you all for 9 years, and we would never intend to create a situation where you do not feel safe and protected at our events, and the local law enforcement has always supported us in this goal. It is extremely difficult to find a location to hold an event such as LIB, and we had the very best intentions in selecting this location. We commit, as we have all these years, to listening to you and to work together to continue to create an inspiring environment for us to gather." - DoLab


  1. When will the authorities pursue other party goers at other events. Like at SleepTrain amphitheater or Valley View Casino Event Center? You can find all these drug's at any event. Why only go through all the trouble for this event??
    Why go out to deface this event?

    1. they got a $300,000 federal grant to pay for the operation. look it up.

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