94 25 LINKEDIN 3 COMMENTMORE

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The first of three suspected organizers of a rave in Mecosta County was formally charged Thursday morning.

Mecosta County Prosecutor Peter Jaklevic says 20-year-old Brittany Lee Johnson of Cedar Springs faces up to one year in jail for furnishing a place for consideration, or illegally selling alcohol.

Investigators are still looking for two other suspects: Daniel Edward Misner, 20, of Howard City and James Michael Taylor, 21, of Blanchard. Detectives believe Taylor, who turned 21 hours after the rave ended, fled to California earlier this week. They're working on extraditing him to Michigan for charges.

Jaklevic says the trio violated Michigan's Liquor Control Act during last weekend's party, dubbed "Project P", as soon as they started collecting parking fees at the property on 70th Avenue.

"The elements are simple: if you provide a place for people to drink and you get money for it, or collect fees, you're committing a felony under the Liquor Control Commission Act," says Jaklevic.

He says additional charges may be filed as the investigation continues. A male driver who hit an unoccupied house leaving the rave is also facing charges.

RELATED: Overdoses, sex assault reported at Mecosta County #ProjectP rave

Authorities estimate more than 2,000 people packed the property in rural Mecosta County Saturday night, partying into the early morning hours of Sunday. Dozens of participants were taken to area hospitals after overdosing on drugs and alcohol.

Party-goers' calls to 911 reveal how intense the rave was.

"It's a party, I feel bad for breaking it up," said one caller. "This guy needs help. He's OD'ing right now. He's about to die."

On social media, though, the crowd threatened authorities, so emergency personnel had to be careful.

"Nobody's going to come in there, because there are too many people talking about rioting. I need you to bring him out to the road and get him help," a 911 dispatcher said in response to the call described above.

The sheriff's department is also investigating a reported sexual assault at the event, but Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell says the victim's level of intoxication at the time of the reported crime has made it difficult.

Purcell says the department's main goal now is to prevent a similar gathering from happening again, by monitoring social media and threatening to seize the organizers' vehicles if they continue to plan another rave.

MORE: Social media encouraged #ProjectP rave, also helped police response

Investigators say this was the second event of this type Johnson, Misner and Taylor have organized. Purcell says he stands by his decision not to break up the rave, based on anti-police comments the crowd was chanting, as well as talk of rioting if officers intervened. He also says breaking up the event would have put the participants at greater risk, as many of them were visiting the area and could get lost or potentially hit by vehicles.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
94 25 LINKEDIN 3 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wzzm13.com/story/news/local/2014/08/07/three-charged-for-massive-projectp-rave-in-mecosta-county/13720653/