Burlington man charged in connection with New Year’s Eve party that had 100 attendees, armed security

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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — A Burlington man is facing charges after allegedly violating the governor’s executive order on mass gatherings by organizing a New Year’s Eve party, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Jacob Alfred Kurtis Bethea, 30, is charged with violation of executive order 163 section 7 (mass gathering) and section 8 (orders of closure) for opening/operating an entertainment facility.

On Thursday night, Orange County deputies came to the Palmers Grove Community Center on Palmers Grove Church Road after a report of a large tent party.

Once on scene, they found approximately 100 people attending a New Year’s Eve party.

Bethea advertised the event, called New Years in the Valley, through social media, dubbing it “the biggest New Year’s party in the state,” the release said. Party attendees purchased tickets online prior to receiving the address of the gathering.

Approximately 10 people, carrying semi-automatic handguns, provided security for the event, according to the sheriff’s office. One also carried an AR-15.

Deputies also served Bethea with an outstanding warrant from Guilford County for another alleged violation of executive order 163, section 7 in connection with an event in September.

The Magistrate released Bethea on a written promise to appear in court and set his first court date for March 1, 2021.

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