Farm Known for Sex, Drugs -- Now Deaths 

  Farm Known for Sex, Drugs -- Now Deaths 

Posted by FoM on September 05, 2001 at 07:41:15 PT
By Shawn Windsor, Jim Schaefer, & Maryanne George 
Source: Detroit Free Press 

Long before two men who ran a pro-marijuana farm in southwest Michigan died by law enforcement bullets, their parties had drawn the eye of the government. A law enforcement affidavit on file in Cass County says that children attending annual pot fests witnessed drug use, took drugs themselves, and sometimes saw nudity and sex.After one festival in April, a teenager who had purchased a hallucinogenic drug at Rainbow Farm died in a car crash, the documents said. Friends and family said Tuesday that Grover Tom Crosslin and Rolland Rohm tried to evoke change, pushing for the legalization of marijuana.
But their parties sometimes ran afoul of the law.And always, friends said, their disdain for government drug policies was on stage.At the 34-acre farm in May 1998, someone towed in an expensive car that was about to be forfeited to the government in an unrelated drug investigation.The car was parked right in front of a music stage at the annual Hemp Aid festival. The crowd, egged on by the vehicle's owner, smashed it "like it had been in a trash compactor," said Richard Lake of Escanaba, who said he was there. "I took swings at it. I thought it was a great idea."The crowd's opposition to the government's authority to seize property associated with illegal drug activity was that strong. But family and friends of Rohm, 28, and Crosslin, 47, wondered Tuesday whether the men were so fervent in their beliefs that they would sacrifice themselves.Wild parties aside, their friends said Crosslin and Rohm tried to work within the system to promote changes in drug law and were generous to people in need."You can push people until they break. I think they were pushed until they broke," Lake said. "That's not the people I knew."The men died in separate, though similar, ways. Crosslin was shot late Monday afternoon after he left a building on his farm with a rifle, ignored calls to drop it and pointed it at an FBI agent, authorities said. Brandon Peoples, a man with him, sustained minor injuries and was released pending further investigation. Rohm died the next morning, about 6:30 a.m., after he walked out into the yard with a rifle and aimed it at a Michigan State Police trooper, authorities said. The FBI was reviewing the shootings.Both times, the men had set fire to buildings on the property before leaving. Friends said they are sure the men did so to keep the government from seizing the property.Crosslin's father, Grover Crosslin, said FBI agents knocked on his door in Vandalia shortly after the 10 p.m. news came on Monday. They asked him to turn off the television, he said."At first they said they shot my son. They didn't want to say he was dead," the elder Crosslin said. "Then they said they shot him in the head and he was dead. I was too upset to get mad and throw them out of the house, but I'm mad now."A standoff began Friday when the younger Crosslin skipped a court date related to drug and weapons charges.Federal officials suspect that he shot and hit a news helicopter and fired at a state police airplane and a small private plane over the weekend. A federal warrant was issued Monday for Tom Crosslin, a former truck driver and flagpole installer, alleging the attempted destruction of an aircraft.On Monday police tried to coax Crosslin from his farmhouse about 10 miles north of the Indiana border. He came out about 5:45 p.m. and was shot by an FBI agent.Police did not announce the shooting until six hours later, saying they wanted to notify his relatives first.John Livermore, the stepfather of Rohm, heard about the standoff on a local news channel at his home in Rogersville, Tenn. After several phone calls, he was put in touch with an FBI agent at the farm.He told the agent that Rohm was his stepson."They told me when I got there I could mediate," he said. "I was going to bring him out."Livermore left Tennessee and drove all night with his wife, who had adopted Rohm as a child. He pulled into the Vandalia temporary media compound and identified himself to troopers about 7:40 a.m.An hour later, a minister told him his stepson was dead."We came to mediate, and we are picking up a dead body," said Livermore, 52.Livermore said his son was a little slow but sweet.Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood Jr. said Rohm had spoken with his attorney for about a half-hour early Tuesday morning and negotiations seemed to be progressing. Authorities said there was an agreement to let Rohm speak to his 12-year-old son by telephone, and then Rohm would surrender."They had assured him that that was going to happen," Underwood said of the negotiating team. "His son had been brought to the staging area" for officers about three miles from the compound.But for some reason, Rohm came out and leveled a rifle, Underwood said.Family Independence Agency officials had taken Rohm's son from him in May and put him in foster care. Rohm and Crosslin, who lived together on the farm and had a long relationship, were said to be outraged.Cass County Circuit Judge Susan Dobrich would not release the juvenile court records of Rohm's son Tuesday, citing confidentiality. However, a neglect-and-abuse petition was on file in court.Underwood said the boy was taken from the home after investigators discovered marijuana was being grown inside.He said the violent ending seemed to be a combination of the custody battle and other court matters. Rohm and Crosslin both were facing charges of manufacturing marijuana, maintaining a drug house and felony firearms, the result of a two-year undercover investigation, which included alleged details of their parties.In a court affidavit filed to stop the festivals, State Police Lt. Michael Brown of the Southwest Enforcement Team said informants and undercover officers saw minors consuming drugs and witnessing drug use.On May 23, 1998, an informant observed children as young as 13 smoking marijuana in front of adults. The informant also reported children as young as 7 or 8 present as nude adults strolled the grounds and freely engaged in public sex.Also according to Brown's affidavit, a 17-year-old boy ran a stop sign on April 21 and collided with a school bus, flipping it and killing himself. He wore a festival wristband at the time of the accident. A friend later told police that he and the teen went to a festival the night before at Rainbow Farm, smoked pot and bought "liquid acid" for $5 a hit. The dead teen had three hits, police were told.The friend saw the teen drive away by himself at 2 a.m.By Shawn Windsor, Jim Schaefer, & Maryanne George, Free Press Staff Writers.Staff writer Ben Schmitt contributed to this report. Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author: Shawn Windsor, Jim Schaefer, & Maryanne GeorgePublished: September 5, 2001Copyright: 2001 Detroit Free PressWebsite: letters freepress.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Rainbow Farm Campground Police Continue Search of Campground Kill Second Man at Rainbow Farms Articles - Crosslin 

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Comment #4 posted by outraged on September 05, 2001 at 17:19:09 PT

Who says they raised their guns, the one who murdered them. Wake up! 
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Comment #3 posted by Patrick on September 05, 2001 at 09:12:06 PT

Just a note to correct your link :)
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Comment #2 posted by CongressmanSuet on September 05, 2001 at 09:05:43 PT

Close link, but no blunt...
Try this...
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Comment #1 posted by CongressmanSuet on September 05, 2001 at 09:02:16 PT

One more story for this link...
    Outrage? Sure, I feel it to the point of speechlessness. But this is ongoing, and wether we can do anything about it, well, first we have to make sure people even KNOW about it. While all this was going on, all I could find was alot of crap about Shill Gram leaving the senate!
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