Missouri’s park system has bought a Shannon County campground from the federal government that had been forfeited after its former owner was convicted on a drug charge.
Missouri State Parks bought the more than 300-acre property known as Camp Zoe at auction for $640,000 plus closing costs. The online auction began last month and ended Friday, said the park system’s director, Bill Bryan.
The property was once a youth camp, but more recently had belonged to James Tebeau, who pleaded guilty in June 2012 to one federal count of maintaining drug-involved property. For years, Tebeau had hosted concerts at Camp Zoe, including some that drew about 5,000 fans. The campground was raided during a Halloween 2010 concert that prosecutors said featured up to 200 dealers selling marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD and other drugs.
As part of his plea deal, Tebeau acknowledged being aware of widespread drug sales on his property but not participating. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Tebeau, a married father of two, turned himself in to Yankton Federal Prison in South Dakota in May.
Bryan said the park system has wanted to acquire Camp Zoe for several years, calling it an “Ozark gem.”
“Its location near Current River State Park and minutes away from the beloved Montauk State Park will provide visitors great opportunities to enhance their Missouri State Parks experience in the Ozarks,” he said.
Bryan said Monday that plans for developing the land were still being worked out, and more land acquisitions could be at hand.
“We’ve got our eye on quite a few properties that we are ready and prepared to add to the Missouri State Parks system,” he said.