Revised January 1, 2006; July 30, 2007; November 3, 2007; January 29, 2008; August 4, 2009; and August 7, 2017.
Copyright 1998-2017 by John W. Allen


Hello and welcome to our News archives.
In this section you will find several newspaper clippings regarding the occurrence and use of visionary mushrooms in Illinois.
They are arranged alphabetically by newspapers and then Chronologically by dates.

A page devoted to newspaper clippings from Illinois

1-13-2005. Illinois

Woman pleads guilty to drug possession

MACOMB - A Macomb woman accused of two felony drug offenses pleaded guilty Monday to reduced charges.

Kathleen Ramirez, 21, was charged in McDonough County Circuit Court with possession of a controlled substance, possession of between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana and disobeying a traffic control signal.

On Monday she pleaded guilty to one Class A misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. She was ordered to pay court costs and penalties. The exact amount was not available.

Police served a search warrant at Ramirez's home on Feb. 19, the day of a car accident that killed her boyfriend, William Powers, 20, of Macomb.

Macomb resident Benjamin Sherwood, 21, the driver of the car, was later arrested and charged with reckless homicide.

The search of Ramirez's home turned up about 77 grams of marijuana.

Ramirez was stopped about a month later for running a stop sign, and the officer could smell the odor of burned marijuana coming from the car, according to police.

Police later searched her home and found less than 15 grams of psilocybin mushrooms.

Flanagan man arrested

1-17-2006 --1-18-2006.

The Times -

La Salle man accused of selling drugs

A 32-year-old La Salle man is accused of selling drugs in the Illinois Valley area after police allegedly found more than 1,500 grams of psilocybin mushrooms at the man's residence.

Todd A. Dooley was taken into custody Thursday after members of the Illinois State Police Zone 3 La Salle Drug Task Force found the purported drugs while executing a search warrant at his La Salle apartment. Dooley is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony carrying a potential sentence of 6-30 years in prison with no possibility of probation.

He remained in custody this morning at La Salle County Jail in lieu of posting 10 percent of $75,000 bond.

- Craig Wieczorkiewicz

(815) 431-4082
March 11, 2006.

Police: Man Grew Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in home.

(AP ELGIN, ILLINOIS). Police in South Elgin say a 22-year-old man was growing hallucinogenic mushrooms in the basement of his home.

Zachary Ivanovic was charged yesterday with possession of marijuana, manufacture or delivery of marijuana and possession of psilocybin (mushrooms).

Police in the Kane County community pulled a car over this week to investigate an unrelated complaint when they found a pound of marijuana in a gym bag.

Investigators then searched Ivanovic's home and found the mushrooms growing in 72 mason jars inside a basement refrigerator.

Ivanovic allegedly told police he was going to be paid two-thousand dollars for growing the mushrooms. He apparently said he needed the money for work expenses.

Bond for Ivanovic was set at $7,500.


Illinois grenade shrooms


UIC student had rifle, grenade launcher: cops

March 14, 2007
BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter
An engineering student at the University of Illinois at Chicago had more than the usual college paraphernalia in his apartment, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Michael Petrelli, 29, faces drug and weapons charges after police found a grenade-launcher, a tub of hallucinogenic mushrooms and other contraband in his apartment in the 2400 block of West Grenshaw.

Woman having convulsions
Police initially responded Monday morning to calls of a female being tied up on the second floor of the apartment building, said prosecutor James Del Castillo.
When cops entered the apartment, the woman was having convulsions. Petrelli told police "that he was attempting to subdue her because of the convulsions," and that was why he tied her up, Del Castillo said.

Petrelli told police the woman had been taking mushrooms, Del Castillo said.

Police saw an assault rifle sticking out from under the couch and found it held 25 live rounds. They also found a handgun with eight live rounds, a box of .223-caliber rifle rounds and, sitting in a closet, a grenade launcher.

Hallucinogenic mushrooms
In another room, police found "chemicals, liquids, beakers, powders, in what appeared to look like a chemistry set, with hoses tying the different beakers and items together," Del Castillo said.
The officers also found two bags of cannabis and a bin of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Petrelli's lawyer, Ziad Alnaqib, said his client "has all but completed his college education," and that there "may be an innocent and innocuous explanation" for the chemistry set. Petrelli is a graduate of Elk Grove High School, Alnaqib said.

UIC officials confirmed that Petrelli is an undergraduate there. Judge Raymond Myles set bond at $250,000.

The Times,
My Web
Ottawa, Illinois
Dan Churney comment on this article at:

When drug task force officers raided Burton D. Evans' home in Grand Ridge in late winter, they said they found materials for growing hallucinogenic mushrooms.

They also found $220, which prosecutors are now seeking to keep.

The 22-year-old Evans, who also has lived in Streator, was charged after the raid with possession of a controlled substance. He is free on $1,500 cash bond with his next court hearing set for Wednesday, June 20.

During the March 13 raid at 405 Sylvan Ave., police said they found -- in addition to the cash -- a boxed Magic Master Mushroom grow kit, a Magic Tek instructional videotape and two syringes containing purported hallucinogenic mushroom spores. They also reported finding 4.8 grams of purported hallucinogenic mushrooms and 2.5 grams of purported marijuana.

The Magic Master Mushroom grow kit and the videotape are available from a business named Magic in Round Lake. The business could not be reached for comment.

The $220 now is in the control of State Police District 17 in La Salle. On Tuesday, prosecutors filed court papers to keep the cash, saying it was used to violate drug laws. If they succeed in keeping the money, it would be distributed to several law enforcement agencies per a formula.

The charge Evans faces can carry a penalty of as long as three years in prison. Circuit Judge Cynthia Raccuglia is presiding over the case.

A battery charge against Evans, which had been pending since 1999, was dismissed the day after he was arrested in the drug raid. During the past several years in La Salle County Circuit Court he has been found guilty once each of disorderly conduct and consumption of alcohol by a minor and twice of curfew violation.

3 comments on this article

Posted by
Mr.. E from Ottawa at 2:42PM on Thursday, 5/24/07 Way to go task force!!!!!!! Posted by at 4:41PM on Thursday, 5/24/07 Report this comment.

I grow poppies every year. Does having poppy seeds put me at risk of being arrested for possession of a controlled substance (opium)? Got to wonder why was this lad's home being raided in the first place?

Posted by
Kentucky hillbilly at 8:01PM on Thursday, 5/24/07

that $220.00 will go along way between 4 departments. the raid didnt pay for the gas and man hours to raid his house.
The East Central Illinois Online News and advertising Source.

2 Missouri men arrested for psychedelic mushrooms

By The News-Gazette
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 4:06 PM. CDT.

URBANA – Two people are accused of bringing psychedelic mushrooms for sale in Illinois following a highway traffic stop Saturday.

Arraigned Monday on charges of trafficking of controlled substances and possession with intent to deliver more than 200 grams of controlled substances were Jeffery Carmichael and Jeffrey Ferguson, 21, both of Maryville, Mo.

Bonds were set at $7,500 for Ferguson and $3,500 for Carmichael. Both were advised that they could face prison sentences of up to 30 years if convicted on the charges.

State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said a District 10 trooper made a traffic stop near the Cunningham Avenue exit on Interstate 74 in Urbana about 4:50 p.m. Saturday for Carmichael and Ferguson not wearing a seat belt.

The trooper smelled marijuana, Emery said. Troopers searched the trunk of the car and seized cash and a large bag of psychedelic mushrooms, he said.

I have a feeling these guys are going to know what it feels like to be ass fucked (both metaphorically and physically).

Men charged in illicit Mushroom Bust
By Charles Keeshan
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Three men have been accused of operating a sophisticated hallucinogenic mushroom farm in Cary, officials said Monday.

Cary police say they uncovered the operation while investigating the brutal May 22 beating of an 18-year-old man at the home, 538 Krenz Ave. The victim was robbed, hit with a bat, burned with a heated metal object and locked in a dog cage.

During the investigation, Cary police Sgt. Ed Synek said Monday, police obtained a search warrant for the home and discovered several large plastic containers holding illicit mushrooms and other evidence of growing activity.

“This was a very organized, elaborate, well-cared for operation,” Synek said. “This wasn’t just a pot growing in the basement.”

In all, Synek said, police recovered significantly more than 200 grams of mushrooms.

“The amount exceeded what would you would see for personal use,” Synek said.

Two residents of the home, Andrew C. Shedivy, 21, and Ricardo Montiel, 26, face numerous felony drug charges including of criminal drug conspiracy, possession of psilocyn with intent to deliver, and manufacture of psilocyn within 1,000 feet of a school. If found guilty they each face up to 30 years in prison.

Shedivy, who already was in custody at the McHenry County jail on charges stemming from the May 22 beating, was arrested on the new charges Friday. His attorney, Matthew Haiduk, declined comment Monday.

Police arrested Montiel on Saturday. He is now free after posting $10,000 bond.

A third suspect, Kevin R. Turner, 20, of Elgin, faces a charge of criminal drug conspiracy. A member of the Navy, Turner is being held at a brig in Washington state on unrelated charges, Synek said.


Daily Herald – McHenry County, Illinois

Parent could lose Cary home in drug arrest

Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007.

A Cary couple could lose their home to McHenry County authorities because of accusations their son and two friends used it to run a sophisticated drug ring.

In court documents filed Tuesday, Cary police and the McHenry County state's attorney's office asked a judge to award them the house at 538 Krenz Ave. under state drug forfeiture laws.

It is the first time in at least a decade -- if ever -- county authorities have tried to use those laws to seize a residence.

"The property was used in multiple Class X felony drug offenses and, therefore, it is subject to this forfeiture action," Assistant State's Attorney William J. Dennison II said. "Under the statute we have to prove that the owners knew of this activity, and we believe we can meet that burden."

The home belongs to Ricardo and Imelda Montiel of Cary, but the couple was leasing it to their son, Ricardo Jr., and his friends. Ricardo Montiel Sr. declined comment Tuesday.

An attorney for his son said it is very unusual for authorities to attempt the seizure of a parent's home because of criminal allegations against a child.

"It doesn't seem fair to me, but drug laws are pretty Draconian these days," defense lawyer Michael Falconer said. "It's not so much about fairness as much as it is what's the law."

Court records indicate the home has been appraised at $184,107. If the forfeiture succeeds, Dennison said, authorities will sell the home and divide proceeds among Cary police, Illinois State Police and the state's attorney's office.

Cary police raided the home earlier this summer while investigating allegations of a brutal beating and robbery of an 18-year-old man inside the residence. Police say that during the search they found more than 200 grams of hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms as well as evidence of an extensive mushroom-growing operation.

Montiel Jr., 26, and roommate Andrew C. Shedivy, 21, each face felony drug charges including criminal drug conspiracy, possession of psilocybin with intent to deliver, and manufacture of psilocybin within 1,000 feet of a school. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to six to 30 years in prison.

A third man charged, Kevin R. Turner, 20, of Elgin, remains at large.

The search came after an 18-year-old man told police he was lured to the home in May, robbed, beaten with a baseball bat, burned with a heated metal object and locked in a dog cage. The incident, authorities said, stemmed from a drug-related dispute.

Court records support Falconer's contention that such seizures are rare, at least in McHenry County. Since 1997, the county has never tried to seize a home, instead focusing its efforts on vehicles and cash believed to be part of drug transactions.

Dennison, however, said he expects that to change.

"Other counties are doing this and have been doing this," he said.

March 30, 2008

Chicago Tribune Web Edition

May 11, 2008


Bails of $1 million and $2 million are set in killing over hallucinogenic mushrooms

2 Chicago men charged in 2003 shooting and supplying the gun, authorities say

Tribune staff report
10:43 PM CDT, March 30, 2008

The two appeared Sunday in Cook County Bond Court.

Antolino Phillips, 28, of the 4800 North Hamlin Avenue was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail in the shooting death of Derek Tate Jr., 22, outside the Tile Outlet store where Tate worked.

Bail was set at $1 million for Alexis Medina, 25, of the 2400 block of North Harding Avenue, who also was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly providing the gun.

Assistant State's Atty. Susan Fleming said that on June 6, 2003, Medina gave Phillips the gun after Phillips told him he needed it for a robbery to obtain drugs. Phillips approached Tate near the loading dock of his workplace and shot him in the chest, she said.,2908209.story

Du Quoin Evening Call

Alleged Psilocybin Mushroom Operation Shut Down

August 14, 2008 -

Members of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Municipal Task Force began an investigation recently of an alleged psilocybin mushroom growing operation at 7911 Gemini Court, Sparta, Illinois. The task force allegedly purchased cannabis and alleged psilocybin mushrooms from the residence.

On Monday, agents executed a search warrant at 7911 Gemini Court in Sparta. Agents seized alleged Psilocybin mushrooms, cash, cannabis, various drug paraphernalia, syringes with alleged psilocybin mushroom spores, 60 quart jars of alleged growing psilocybin mushroom spores, nine pans of alleged psilocybin mushroom spores in pan w/ coconut growing medium, a dehydrator, and psilocybin mushroom growing equipment including coconut growing medium, pans, and a tote used as growing chambers.

Agents arrested Walter W. Steiner, age 26, of Sparta. Steiner is charged with unlawful delivery of cannabis, 10 to 30 grams, a class 4 Felony, and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Psilocybin, a Class 3 felony.  Steiner was incarcerated until bond could be set.

Agents also arrested Craig Bahre, age 26 of Sparta and Thomas J. Patton, age 23 of Sparta for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. They were released on notice to appear citations. The investigation continues.
2 Photos by Randolph County Sheriffs Office.

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