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Man accused of selling drugs at Bonnaroo pleads guilty

A man is facing up to 40 years in a federal prison after admitting to selling LSD and MDMA at a Tennessee music festival. The dealer, who police claim regularly visited music events and festivals to sell drugs using the name Molly Poppins, appeared before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on Aug. 29 to enter guilty pleas to charges of drug possession with the intent to distribute.

Court documents reveal that undercover agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation approached the man to purchase drugs during the 2017 Bonnaroo music festival, which was held in Manchester between June 8 and June 11. The four-day Bonnaroo festival was first held in 2002 and has gone on to become one of the country's most popular music events. While this has been good news for music fans in the Volunteer State, protecting festival visitors from drug dealers and other criminals has become a major challenge for state and local law enforcement.

Agents say that a search conducted after the man had been taken into custody led to the discovery of about 8 ounces of MDMA and more than 5 grams of LSD. The drugs were purchased from an illicit website on the so-called dark web, according to the man's plea agreement. The man is scheduled to appear in court again to learn his sentence on Nov. 30.

When presented with facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may be able to negotiate a plea agreement that calls for penalties far less severe than the maximum possible sentence. Cases involving serious drug crimes can be challenging to litigate as evidence such as drugs seized during warrantless searches may be challenged on Fourth Amendment grounds. This is why prosecutors are often willing to settle drug cases quickly even when their evidence seems strong.

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