Crouching Sheriff, Hidden Task Force

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Whatever the fate of the lawsuit, Ferguson feels that he's accomplished something by filing it. Law-enforcement officials have told the festival planners that they don't intend to repeat last year's activities during this year's festival, opting instead for more routine patrolling and, possibly, one good, old-fashioned DUI roadblock on the festival's flight path.

"It's a relief," Ferguson says. "We haven't seen anything in writing. And it's been difficult to have a phone call returned, let alone sit down for a little man-to-man discussion about what went on last year and what will happen in the future. But we will just have to take them on their word and see what happens.

"The fact of the matter is, I don't consider the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to be a haven for criminals," he adds. "And I don't think the town of Telluride does, either."

As for Labowskie, who eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession, he'll be packing up his truck again this year for the festival, which takes place June 21-24.

"Even though some of my feelings about some of the law enforcement around here have changed, the festival hasn't," he says. "It's been a part of my life for the past ten years and will continue to be, no matter what I have to do to get there."

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Laura Bond
Contact: Laura Bond