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Police: Arrest near Rainbow Family gathering nets nearly $90,000 worth of meth, other drugs

June 25th, 2012 2:58 pm by Rain Smith

Police: Arrest near Rainbow Family gathering nets nearly $90,000 worth of meth, other drugs

Michael Sullivan, 59, of Stumptown, West Va.

A seatbelt violation near the Rainbow Family gathering in Cherokee National Forest has allegedly led police to pills, peyote, a liquid form of THC and a large load of methamphetamine.

Police say the powdered meth, weighing two pounds, has a street value of nearly $90,000. A West Virginia man was arrested in the Sunday incident, charged with possession of schedule II drugs for resale, possession of schedule VI drugs for resale and possession of schedule I drugs.

A U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer conducted the stop shortly before 2 p.m. on Flat Woods Road. According to a report at the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, the driver of a 1998 Ford Explorer, Michael Sullivan, 59, of Stumptown, West Va., was observed not wearing his seatbelt.

A K9 was taken around his vehicle during the stop, allegedly alerting officers to the presence of drugs. A subsequent search reportedly located pills in the console area. Two of the nine pills were Viagra, while the others could not be immediately identified.

Approximately two ounces of Peyote was also allegedly located, along with a glass vial of liquid THC. Police say two baggies and a jar containing an off-white substance field tested as positive for methamphetamine. The total weight of the meth was reportedly two pounds, with authorities estimating the street value at $89,000.

Sullivan was arrested and transported to the jail in Blountville, while his vehicle was seized and impounded at the Sheriff's Office. Police say all of the confiscated drugs will be sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lab for testing and verification.

The U.S. Forest Service and Sullivan County police are patrolling the roads along the south east section of South Holston Lake, where the Rainbow Family of Living Light are holding their national gathering. The event will culminate July 4, when more than 10,000 people are expected to be on hand. The group has no formal leadership and are reportedly gathering for prayer and world peace.

SCSO Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart says law enforcement are present to ensure the safety of nearby residents and those in attendance, while also keeping a lookout for illegal activity.

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