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Ocean Co. prosecutor: No repeat of festival

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato is setting the record straight: He’s not endorsing the return of a drug-plagued music festival.

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The beach at Seaside Heights
The beach at Seaside Heights (Andy Chase, Townsqaure Media NJ)

The two-day Electric Adventure Beach Weekend in Seaside Heights ended with 42 arrests and 34 overdoses, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Coronato met earlier this week with event founder John D’Esposito, and wants to clear up any misconceptions about the agreement they reached. The prosecutor said D’Esposito will reimburse the county roughly $12,000 in extra police manpower needed, and donate to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where overdose victims were treated.

“There was never any kind of commitment that he can come back to Ocean County, but I don’t have any authority to say whether he does or does not; it’s not within our purview,” Coronato said, adding that the event does not have his blessing just because D’Esposito has agreed to step up and do the right thing.

Coronato said the Prosecutor’s Office would work with local police, should officials in Seaside or another town allow the event to return, to make sure the organizer and law enforcement have the appropriate security and legal measures covered.

Coronato had several issues with the logistics of the event and how it was maintained. He has suggested D’Esposito consider a different venue that is confined, such as a stadium, and prevents patrons from coming and going from the event to avoid easy exchanges of drugs.

“You have to be very concerned, especially when you’re dealing with Ecstasy and Molly, because those drugs can be very easily hidden,” he said, pointing out there were about 30 cases involving those types of drugs at the music festival.

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