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Police squelch mushroom grower

Police have shed some light on an illegal mushroom growing and selling operation which was being managed out of an apartment on the city’s west side.

An arrest was made March 14 at an apartment on Maple Valley Drive. A resident living in one of the units had reportedly been growing and selling psilocybin mushrooms — considered an illegal hallucinogenic drug.

The operation first drew the attention of investigators after the department received word of excessive traffic coming to and from the apartment unit. About the same time a part-time narcotics officer with the police department received information from an informant that drugs were being sold at the same address.

A team of officers including the narcotics officer, other officers from the department, and a county K-9 unit went to the apartment and spoke with the 20-year-old male resident. He gave permission to search the apartment.

What was found inside was different than what’s discovered in most drug cases in the region. This time officers found a mushroom growing operation complete with incubators, fertilizer, other equipment needed to grow fungi, and a quantity of mature psilocybin  mushrooms. Evidence was collected and the grow operation disassembled.

Police Chief Rick Baker said the man, who’s name was not being released as of press time pending formal charges, will likely be charged with several drug-related charges. The main charge could be a count of manufacturing an illegal drug near a public school or housing. While the lab was not in a subsidized housing complex, it was near one. That charge is a Class A felony.

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