Nearly 100 Arrested in Drug Bust Planned Around Florida Music Festival

The Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival took place March 2-5.
March 11, 2017, 4:50pm
Photo via Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival Twitter.

A two-day drug bust by police planned to coincide with the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival led to 99 arrests for drug-related charges. The arrests occurred during the first two days of the festival and largely took place on or within the proximity of Okeechobee Road, the main highway near the festival.

The drug bust took the form of a "highway interdiction operation," which involved police pulling people over for traffic offenses and being on the lookout for signs of drug-related activity, according to a press release from St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara. A drug sniffing dog was also on site to assist in the operation.


According to reports from, drugs recovered during the arrests include mushrooms, marijuana and synthetic marijuana, Ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, hydrocodone and heroin.

Two-day interdiction efforts such as this one do not normally yield more than 20 arrests. "I think the arrests surpassed what we thought they would ever be," said Mascara.

According to Fox 6 news, festival guests were warned about K-9 searches for drugs prior to entering the festival and amnesty boxes were provided to discard any drugs prior to being searched. A total of 21 people were arrested on the premises of the actual music festival, which is far fewer than last year's festival, reports the Palm Beach Post.

The Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival took place March 2-5. Performers included Flume, Bassnectar, and Pretty Lights.

Additional reporting by Alexander Iadarola.