North Carolina authorities are investigating the citation of several Willie Nelson bandmembers hours before the country legend's concert last week (28Jan10), to ensure the illegal alcohol charges were warranted.
Nelson's longtime bass player Dan Edward 'Bee' Spears, along with five other members of his band and crew, were charged with possession of non-tax-paid alcohol following a police raid on their tour bus. No one was arrested but two people on board the bus were also charged with marijuana possession.
Nelson ended up cancelling the gig at the Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville at the last minute after suffering pain in his hand, but questions have been raised about the number of state Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agents who had been sent to cover the show.
According to the Charlotte Observer newspaper, 14 ALE inspectors were assigned to attend the show to ensure concert-goers obeyed the state's booze laws - a number local media suggests is higher than usual.
ALE agents cited 14 people with misdemeanours, in addition to the venue's general manager and an assistant for interfering with the alcohol investigation.
District Attorney Dewey Hudson has now been called in to look at the case and his office has launched their own investigation to determine if the citations were properly issued.