Revised January 1, 2006; November 5, 2007; August 3, 2009; September 8, 2009; and April 9, 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 New Hampshire.
They are arranged alphabetically by newspapers and then Chronologically by dates.

New Hampshire
A page devoted to newspaper clippings from New Hampshire

The Union Leader, New Hampshires Sunday newspaper
Online at

March 28 Sunday, 2004

UNH students face charges; pounds of marijuana found
Union Leader Correspondent.

DURHAM -- Police have seized more than $10,000 in hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and ecstasy and made several drug arrests in the second wave of drug busts near the University of New Hampshire since January.

Six people, including four UNH students, were charged in a sweep that began in February, according to police.

Police said they also confiscated a 1997 Range Rover and $4,380 in cash. Durham Deputy Police Chief Rene Kelley declined to comment on exact amounts of drugs seized but estimated there were “pounds of marijuana and mushrooms” and several tablets of ecstasy.

Kelley said the arrests were part of an investigation into illegal drug trafficking that has lasted more than three months. Police announced the busts yesterday.

On Jan. 23, police announced they had arrested 10 people, including several Oyster River High School students and at least one UNH student, in a drug sweep in which police seized more than $25,000 in drugs, $3,000 in cash and a $4,000 car.

“There is some connection to the previous drug investigation,” Kelley said yesterday. “Certain aspects are connected, but not all of them, certainly.”

According to Durham police, the UNH students charged include:

·         Joelle A. Hanna, 22, of 17 Madbury Road, Durham, on a Class A misdemeanor of possession of a controlled drug;

  • Kelsey Hoontis, 20, of 17 Madbury Road, Durham, on a Class B felony of possession of a narcotic drug;
  • Eric E. DeJoy, 19, of 114 Hall House, Durham, on a Class B felony of possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute;
  • Liam Scofield, 20, of 145 Main Street, Newmarket, on three Class B felonies, including sale of a controlled drug and possession of a hallucinogenic mushrooms, and a Class A misdemeanor of possession of a controlled substance.

After arraignments in Durham District Court on March 18, Hanna and Hoontis were released on personal recognizance bail of $500 and $1,000, respectively.

Dejoy and Scofield were each released on $7,500 personal recognizance bail and scheduled for court dates of April 1 and 15, respectively.

Police also confiscated Scofield’s 1997 Range Rover and have begun forfeiture procedures. Kelley said the SUV would be used for drug enforcement if police legally obtain ownership.

Two Massachusetts men who are not UNH students were also arrested.

·         Garrett M. Joyce, 18, of 32 Manomet Avenue, Hull, Mass., was charged with two Class B felonies of possession with intent to distribute hallucinogenic mushrooms and possession of a controlled drug.

  • Christopher N. Erickson, 20, of 27 Hunter Lane, Canton, Mass., was charged with the Class B felony of possession with intent to distribute a controlled drug.

Joyce and Erickson were both released on $15,000 personal recognizance bail after arraignments in Durham District Court on March 18.

Kelley said local police are also working with “a Massachusetts police department” which he would not name to investigate a source of the illegal drugs.

“The drugs they had in their possession did in fact come from Massachusetts,” Kelley said of Erickson and Joyce.

All of those charged in the latest sweep were arrested between Feb. 21 and this week, according to Kelley. None of the arrests happened on UNH’s campus and none of the alleged sales took place on UNH property.

DeJoy was the only person charged who lived on campus. Kelley would not comment on whether police had seized money or drugs from Hall House, the dormitory where DeJoy lives.

DeJoy was arrested on Main Street in Durham. Hanna was charged at her apartment. Hoontis turned herself in to police and Scofield was charged after a traffic stop on Route 108, according to police.

Joyce and Erickson were charged after a traffic stop on Route 4, according to Kelley.

UNH Spokesman Kim Billings said she had not heard of the arrests until being contacted by a reporter yesterday evening. She said officials will review possible discipline for students involved.

“We will work closely with Durham police and when the time is right, we’ll bring students through the student conduct process,” Billings said.

Durham police have also contacted Strafford County Attorney Janice Rundles’ office regarding the recent drug arrests, according to Kelley.

During a press conference to announce the first round of drug busts in January, police said undercover officers made several small drug “buys” around town, including from an employee at a downtown convenience store.

But Kelley declined to comment on whether undercover officers had been used to gather evidence in the latest sweep.

“The investigation is ongoing,” he said. “I would anticipate further arrests.”

Durham police were assisted in the drug investigation by Newmarket police, UNH police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Kelley also said the January bust was the largest he had seen in his 17 years on Durham’s police force. When asked yesterday if there is a drug problem in town, Kelley said he attributed more drug arrests to different police tactics.

“I don’t know that there are any more drugs but I do think the Durham Police Department is becoming more effective at uncovering them,” he said.

Durham police withdrew from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force, a regional group of different officers and departments, last year.

New Hampshire
Sunday August 10, 2008
Published: Saturday, August 9, 2008

Teen accused of selling mushrooms

An 18-year-old needed medical treatment after ingesting mushrooms, leading to the arrest of the teen who provided the drug, police said.

Eighteen-year-old Evan Johnson, of Auburn, was arrested Thursday night on the felony charge of dispensing a controlled drug, police said Friday morning.

Police responded to 55 London Court and found two 18-year-old males had ingested
psilocybin mushrooms, police said. They had approximately four ounces, police said.

One of the teens was taken to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua for treatment, police said. Johnson was later arrested at the residence.

Johnson is also charged with breach of bail conditions on an Operating under the influence of alcohol charge. He is expected to be arraigned Friday.

(19 hours ago).
(18 hours ago).
Next time, clean the strychnine out of the center on the shroom before you eat them.

Comment from John W. Allen.
There is no strychnine in psilocybian mushrooms.

Fungus fakeout: Three face drug charges

November 13, 2008
New Hampshire
KINGSTON – Three men accused of trying to sell fake hallucinogenic mushrooms have been caught blue-handed.

Police said the men were arrested after one of them sold a quarter-pound of mushrooms for $900 during an undercover drug probe. When police later pulled over the men, two had hands stained with blue food coloring.

Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. said police believe the mushrooms were purchased at a grocery store along with the blue food coloring used to dye the mushrooms and make them appear more like a potent psilocybin mushroom.

The scheme began to unravel Monday when two "non-law enforcement cooperative sources" met with the three men on a dirt road in Kingston to buy what they thought would be psilocybin mushrooms, commonly referred to as "shrooms."

The three were identified as Robert McCarthy, 23, of 7 Hilton Ave., Exeter; Anthony Palmisano, 19, of 19 M St., Hampton; and Tucker Cockerline, 18, of 44 Marshall Road, Kingston.

Police said McCarthy is the one who made the actual sale. After the alleged deal, the men left in a 1996 red Chevy Cavalier driven by Palmisano.

When police in an unmarked cruiser pulled over the three moments later, officers noticed that Cockerline and McCarthy had blue food coloring on their hands, Briggs said. When they were asked about the coloring, the two refused to talk.

Police also found food coloring and more mushrooms of the grocery store variety in the car, Briggs said.

Even though the mushrooms weren't really a narcotic drug, the three men are still in trouble. Briggs said the mushrooms were represented as hallucinogenic.

"Whether it's counterfeit or a real drug, it's still the same," he said.

McCarthy is charged with sale of a narcotic drug and theft by deception. He also faces additional charges stemming from an arrest warrant by Exeter police. Palmisano and Cockerline were each charged with conspiracy to sell a controlled narcotic drug and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.

The arrests were made as part of a joint investigation by Kingston and Plaistow police into drug dealing in southern Rockingham County.

Briggs said he's seen several cases over the years where dealers have tried to sell fake illegal drugs.

But selling counterfeit drugs is risky business, police said, because unsuspecting buyers could retaliate against the dealer after discovering that they were duped.

"In the drug world, you never know exactly who you're dealing with," said Kathleen Jones, Plaistow's deputy police chief.

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