Two Persons Arrested Following Routine Traffic Stop
At approximately 5:30PM yesterday, Friday, January 4, 2019, a Sevierville Police Department officer stopped a Dodge Neon for an apparent window tint violation. The traffic stop took place at the Pilot gas station at the corner of Highway 66 and Boyds Creek Highway.
During the traffic stop, the officer discovered a handgun and what appeared to be pipe bombs in the vehicle. Upon further investigation, three functioning pipe bombs and two handguns (one-.25 caliber semi-automatic pistol and one-9mm semi-automatic pistol) were discovered.
Both persons in the vehicle were taken into custody. 27-year old Zachary Cushman and 42-year old Kenneth Barnett, both of Sevierville, were later charged with possession of prohibited weapons and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. Mr. Cushman was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Mr. Barnett was also charged with a window tint violation. Both were subsequently transported to the Sevier County jail for booking.
After the apparent pipe bombs were discovered during the traffic stop, officers evacuated the Pilot gas station and closed a section of Boyds Creek Highway for public safety. The Sevier County Interagency Hazardous Devices Unit responded, as well as an ATF agent. Officers determined the pipe bombs were functioning explosive devices and they were rendered safe at the scene by SCIHDU officers.
The incident remains under investigation.
SPD Chief Joseph Manning expressed his appreciation and thanks to all of the agencies that responded and are continuing to assist in the investigation. The following agencies also responded to the scene: Sevierville Fire Department, Sevier County Ambulance Service and Sevier County Emergency Management Agency.