BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Three “Project P” rave organizers are facing felony criminal charges, according to Mecosta County Chief Prosecutor Pete Jaklevic.
“Our main goal is to stop the organizers to stop this from happening,” said Jaklevic.
As of Thursday morning, three people are charged with the felony offense of furnishing a place for consideration, more commonly known as a “blind pig.” If convicted, they face up to one year behind bars and a maximum fine of $1,000. Brittany Johnson, 20, of Cedar Springs, James Taylor, 21 (his birthday is Aug. 4), of Blanchard—who is also the homeowner where the rave took place—and Daniel Misner, 20, of Howard City, are charged.
Jaklevic explained that those charged violated the Liquor Control Code, by charging money for parking to get into the party.
“If you help in providing a place where persons can consume alcohol on an unlicensed premise and you get money for it, whether it’s in the form of fees or anything other type of consideration, you’ve just committed a felony under the liquor control act,” said Jaklevic.
In regards to the alleged sexual assault of the 19-year-old woman from the Mt. Pleasant area, Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said it is difficult obtaining information on this incident and the investigation is ongoing. Charges are still pending.
“Due to the victim’s ability to recall due to her intoxication level at the time has made things very difficult in this investigation,” said Purcell.
According to investigators, police arrested Johnson Wednesday, while Taylor left for California and Misner’s whereabouts are unknown. Johnson’s bail was set at $10,000 or $1,000 cash surety. According to social media, fellow Project P partygoers are working to raise enough money for Johnson to post bond.
FOX 17 spoke with one of the original Project P organizers, who goes by Jaymo, who is not yet charged; he said they did nothing illegal. FOX 17 asked if he was worried he would get charged.
“No, not really too worried, but no comment,” said Jaymo.
The message #freedannyprojectp is being shared across social media, and Jaymo said his friends will not stay behind bars for long.
“(Danny is) not going to stay locked up,” said Jaymo. “We’re going to get him out. He shouldn’t be in there in the first place. Everyone throws parties.”
As for money collected from Saturday’s rave, Jaymo told FOX 17 that partygoers made donations to fund the party’s performers.
“We didn’t pocket anything. It was just a fund for the party: which is the DJ, the music, the lights, performers, it was just basically a big old backyard bash,” said Jaymo.
As for future raves, Jaymo said Project P has no plans, but added that next time they might host the party at a venue, hire more security and ID partygoers.
“They can’t stop people from throwing birthday parties, or bashes, it’s something that they can’t stop,” said Jaymo.”
In the future, Jaklevic said law enforcement may use the Public Nuisance Statute to deter partygoers by permanently seizing their cars at a recurrent rave.
“If it is going to be a continued activity this is an option that we have: take and forfeit cars of the people that are going to these parties,” said Jaklevic. “It’s a remedy that we’d rather not resort to, but it’s a tool that law enforcement has and is willing to utilize should this behavior continue in the future.”
Jaklevic and Purcell reiterated that the investigation is ongoing and these are only initial charges.