Designer drug shows up at Juggalo gathering


Reporter - Kendall Downing

HARDIN COUNTY, Ill. - It is the 14th year for the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Fans of the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse go by the name "Juggalos" and come together for a weekend concert series and festival each year at Hog Rock in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois.

The Juggalos can be unruly at times. Arrests at the event are common.

So far this year, the Hardin County Sheriff's Office reports ten suspected cases of drug overdoses. This time police are dealing with a new drug they've never seen before.

The synthetic substance is known as 25I or called an "N-bomb" on the street.

"It's a really tough drug. The kids have had a lot of problems with it," said Bobby Deppen, Hardin County Chief Deputy.

Deppen said the drug is like LSD and causes people to have hallucinations or lose consciousness.

"They get combative when they come off of it, so we have safety issues as well," he said.

Earlier in the week, a man assaulted an EMT who was trying to help him. That emergency worker is out of the hospital, but she will need surgery to repair injuries to her face.

ISP and the Hardin County Sheriff's Department worked two drug busts since Wednesday, netting crystal meth and more than 30 grams of marijuana.

Despite the apparent drug use, Hardin County Sheriff Jerry Fricker said the behavior's been quite calm.

"This year it's been a bit different out there. Guys are working with us to make it a lot better," he said.

Fricker said the Insane Clown Posse stepped up their security efforts. As a result, the sheriff's office didn't hire in any extra help for the weekend.

Concert organizers are even compensating the sheriff's department, which Fricker said will allow them to purchase new equipment.

The festival runs through midnight on Monday morning.

In the most recent election, Hardin County voters approved a public safety tax to provide extra money for the ambulance service and law enforcement during events like The Gathering.

The tax hasn't gone into effect yet, so there is no money to distribute.