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Police take meth off the streets

FARMINGTON — Acting on a tip, the Farmington Police Department was able to take a quantity of methamphetamine off the street following a traffic stop earlier this week.

Police Chief Rick Baker said officers received information that a green Chrysler New Yorker would be traveling from Perryville and passing through town transporting illegal drugs. He said the same information had been offered previously, but officers had not been able to locate the car.

This time officer Ron Roper set up to watch traffic on Karsch Boulevard near the Route 32 intersection. He spotted the green car a short time later and clocked it traveling 52 miles per hour in a 40 mile-per-hour zone. He pulled the car over and spoke with the driver, a 29-year-old Crystal City resident.

Baker said Roper asked the driver for consent to search the car. The driver agreed and the officer began a thorough search which turned up two bags containing powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine.

Roper arrested the man and transported him to the police station. Upon further investigation it was discovered the bags contained smaller bags of illegal drug divided into quarter-gram amounts — giving indication the drug had been divided for distribution.

The driver, whose name is being withheld pending formal charges, was booked on counts of possession of methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. His bond was set at $35,000.

But the stop wasn’t the first drug activity halted by police in recent days. 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 operation disassembled.

Police Chief Rick Baker said the man, whose 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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