By BEN NEARY
The Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) Federal authorities have charged an Oregon
woman with distributing the hallucinogenic drug LSD, including some
that authorities say went to the Rainbow Family gathering in western
Wyoming last month.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Wyoming has filed a criminal complaint
charging Vanessa Marie Griffee, 31, of Eugene, Ore., with felony
distribution of LSD and conspiracy to distribute the drug.
Griffee made an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in
Oregon earlier this month. She's scheduled for a preliminary hearing
in Cheyenne on Sept. 9. If a federal magistrate determines she should
stand trial, she would enter a formal plea to the charges after arraignment.
Eugene lawyer J.W. Frank, who represented Griffee at her initial
appearance, declined comment Wednesday on the government's case
against her. Cheyenne lawyer Terry Harris, who represents Griffee in
U.S. District Court in Wyoming, also declined comment on the case.
A confidential source told Colorado investigators last month that a
North Carolina man at the Rainbow Family gathering in Wyoming claimed
to be distributing LSD there, according to a sworn statement filed by
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agent Timothy Walsh. The statement was filed in
court with the charges against Griffee.
Law enforcement officers searched the North Carolina man's home last
month, according to Walsh's statement. He said that the man
voluntarily told investigators that Griffee had been shipping him LSD
repeatedly for months.
Walsh said the man told investigators that Griffee sent the LSD to
him at "post offices that were located near music festivals and
The man told investigators that he had received a shipment of LSD
sheets from Griffee before he traveled to the Rainbow Family
gathering in Wyoming, Walsh said. The man said that while he was at
the gathering, he traded a sheet of paper containing 100 doses of LSD
to another man there for a red beryl gemstone.
The man also told investigators that he had shipped LSD he received
from Griffee to a Cheyenne post office box, Walsh stated.
No criminal charges had been filed against the man in Wyoming federal
court as of Thursday.
The annual Rainbow Family gathering draws thousands of people from
around the country to a different spot on public lands each year. An
estimated 7,000 people attended this year's event in Sublette County,
Wyo., near the community of Big Sandy.
Several Rainbow Family members were arrested in July following a
confrontation that federal officials say started when officers tried
to arrest one Rainbow Family member for an alleged drug offense.
Forest Service officials accused Rainbow participants of throwing
rocks and sticks at officers during the incident.
Rainbow Family members have said that federal officers antagonize
people at the gatherings. Many have stated that federal officers shot
members unnecessarily with nonlethal pepperball guns during the July
incident in Wyoming. The Wyoming ACLU is investigating their claims.