The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office is warning people about large parties that have been happening in rural areas across the region, where more than 200 people are gathering.
Not only does that violate state mass gathering restrictions, but Sheriff Robert Maciol says crimes have been committed at several of these parties, including larceny, assault and underage drinking.
Most people attending the parties are between the ages of 16 and 25, and learn about the events via social media.
“So many people are seeing them, and unfortunately, there are people seeing these invitations or party notices who have bad intentions. And they're going to attend these parties and they're not even friends with anybody, but they know there's going to be a lot of kids there, they're going to show up,” said Maciol.
Deputies have also found shell casings, knives and daggers at these party scenes, and believe people affiliated with gangs have been attending as well.
Adding to the danger, Maciol says there isn’t cell phone service at some of the more remote locations, so people can’t always call for help in an emergency. He says the parties seem to be occurring in secluded wooded areas off of seasonal or dirt roads, which are on both state-owned and private properties.
Maciol is asking anyone who knows of these parties to call 911, or the Sheriff’s Office at 315-736-0141.
Suspicious activity can also be anonymously reported via Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-866-730-8477.