FLINT - A judge Thursday refused to dismiss charges against dozens of people arrested on charges of frequenting a drug house during a controversial raid on a Flint nightclub in March.
Flint District Judge Ramona M. Roberts said the arrests did not violate the free speech and free assembly rights of those who attended the rave party at Club What's Next and were not caught with illegal drugs.
The ruling was a setback for the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents 93 people cited under a city ordinance.
The ACLU vowed to fight the cases all the way through the court system, if necessary.
"Unless this decision is reversed, the police will be able to arrest anyone in a licensed nightclub or any music concert whenever a stranger lights up a marijuana cigarette," said Ken Mogill, who leads a team of 10 ACLU attorneys working on the case.
The March 20 party at Club What's Next, 2511 W. Pasadena Ave., had been promoted for months on the Internet and drew people from southern Michigan and other states, police said.
Flint police and the Genesee County Sheriff's Department arrested 130 people after undercover officers and civilian operatives bought Ecstasy, LSD and a psychedelic mushroom inside the club, they said.
About 17 people, including the promoter, were arrested on felony drug charges. The other partygoers were arrested on misdemeanor drug possession charges or for frequenting a drug house, a maximum 90-day misdemeanor.