Members of Willie Nelson's band cited for moonshine, drugs

Posted January 28, 2010 9:46 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2010 1:13 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement cited members of Willie Nelson’s band for possession of moonshine and a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, officials said Friday.

Nelson, 76, was scheduled to perform in Kenansville at the Duplin County Events Center on Thursday night. A message on Nelson’s Web site said the performance was canceled because Nelson’s hand, which he had carpel tunnel surgery on, was in “terrible pain.”

Concert promoters told WRAL News that Nelson was sick. The Web site said the show is being rescheduled.

Nelson was not present at the time six of his band members and crew were cited, said Ernie Seneca, spokesman for the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

An ALE agent was walking near the band's bus when he smelled marijuana, Seneca said, so he asked to search the bus and was granted permission.

In the past, Nelson has been arrested for drug possession and tax evasion.

Nelson, originally of Abbott, Texas, has enjoyed a decades-long career as a singer-songwriter. Some of his hits have included “On the Road Again,” “To All the Girls I’ve Love Before” and “Always on My Mind,” which was covered by “American Idol” finalist and Chapel Hill resident Anoop Desai.