Revised January 1, 2006; July 30, 2007; Novemer 5, 2007; February 17, 2008; August 23, 2009; and April 10, 2017.
Copyright 1998-2017 by John W. Allen.








NEWS ARCHIVES



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 North Carolina.
They are arranged alphabetically by newspapers and then Chronologically by dates.



North Carolina
A page devoted to newspaper clippings from North Carolina


 
Illegal Mushrooms A Growing Concern In Charlotte
POSTED: 6:05 pm EDT May 4, 2004.
UPDATED: 9:46 am EDT May 5, 2004.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.



Psychedelic mushrooms, a potent hallucinogen of the '60s, may be making a comeback in Charlotte. A recent police raid turned up a record crop of the illegal mushrooms.

"The mushrooms are not safe and shouldn't be consumed," said Capt. Tim Jayne of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. "The side effects are detrimental."

Jayne, who heads up Charlotte's vice unit said he received a tip that led him to a house in east Charlotte. When officers smelled marjuana, they got a search warrant. It was during the search that they discovered mushrooms placed in jars in a back room.

"We were a bit surprised," said Jayne. "It was a grow operation -- manufacturing the product by growing in the the house."

Investigators estimated around 50,000 grams -- or about 100 pounds -- of the hallucinogenic mushrooms.

"Many people who use mushrooms are young," said Wally Gilewski, who's worked for years in drug treatment. "Some are very young and are just beginning to experiment with drugs. We deal with children from 13 to 17 years of age who start with these mushrooms and go from there."

Darrell Stilwell an example of someone who fits Gilewski's profile. He used mushrooms when he was young and said that many kids in high school were doing the same.

"I wouldn't say it was harmless," said Stilwell. "I may have tried it three times in my entire life."

Studies show that mushrooms can be dangerous and even deadly.

Police say that they find the illegal mushrooms mostly at concerts although they do turn up during some drug raids.

To date, only one person has been charged in connection with the east Charlotte drug bust.

Copyright 2004 by WSOCTV.com.



 
Salisbury Post
Serving historic Rowan County, North Carolina since 1905.
Friday July 2, 2007

Police seize psychedelic mushroom stash

By

Jonathan Weaver, Salisbury Post

Police found psychedelic mushrooms and other illegal drugs during a search at a South Link Avenue apartment last week.

During the raid, which was precipitated by purchases made by the department, investigators seized 7.2 grams of cocaine, 57 grams of marijuana, 20.4 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, two Oxycodone pills and five methadone pills.

Christopher Paul Godbey, 27, of 211 S. Link St., was charged with possession of Psilocyban mushrooms, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

Police charged David Jordan Semple, 21, of the same address, with possession of psilocyban mushrooms, possession of marijuana and possession of Oxycodone and methadone.

Salisbury Police Sgt. Sam Russell said this is the first case the department has seen in at least five years involving illegal mushrooms. "We've been hearing rumors of people using them,"he said.

These are not the type of mushrooms springing up in people's yards lately.

The psilocyban found in certain mushrooms is a hallucinogen which produces effects similar to LSD. The mushrooms that contain psilocyban generally grow in tropical climates such as South America or Mexico, Russell said, reading from information from the National Drug Intelligence Center.

The mushrooms found in the Link Street apartment had apparently not been grown there, the sergeant said.

When officers searched the apartment, they found most of the drugs sitting in the open, Russell said. The mushrooms -- worth about $200 on the street -- sat on top of a scale.

Both men were placed into the Rowan County Detention Center, Godbey with a $15,000 bond and Semple with a $5,000 secured bond. The men made their first court appearances on Monday.

Contact Jonathan Weaver at 704-797-4266 or jweaver@salisburypost.com.



 
80 people arrested: 25lbs Mushroom Chocolates and more
#7232540 - 07/28/07 12:27 AM.

http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-072707-mrn-undercoveraleagents.b9fccaf5.html

Charlotte, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers and Alcohol Law Enforcement agents went undercover outside the Widespread Panic concert Friday, looking for underage drinking and drugs. Dozens of people never even made it inside, instead they spent the night in jail.

As people tailgated before the Widespread Panic concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, undercover officers wandered through the crowd.

“We're looking for any illegal drugs, any dangerous drugs,” said ALE agent Omar Qureshi.

ALE agents work numerous concerts, but Friday night they were expecting a lot of drug use.

“Maybe it's a crowd that follows them, or a type of reputation that comes with this crowd or group,” said Qureshi.

Officers say they found plenty of illegal drug use. One officer confiscated 25 pounds of mushrooms hidden in chocolate bars. They also found ecstasy, marijuana, pipes, Xanax, mushrooms, even LSD concealed in the middle of a sweetart.

Officers arrested at least 80 people on drug charges, and others for underage drinking.

“Tonight the big difference was the dangerous drugs that were there,” said Qureshi.

A lot of dangerous drugs that are now off the streets.

“Hopefully it's a safer place tonight because of that,” said Qureshi.

Officers say the crowd that in the past has been volatile, but Friday night no one was hurt. That’s the idea, getting the drugs and alcohol out of the mix before the concert begins prevents fights, assaults, and people home driving under the influence.




 

Quizno's Employee Accused of Selling Mushrooms
September 13, 2007.ABC

"Raleigh police made a drug bust in an unlikely place -- a Quizno's sub shop.

According to search warrants, an employee was selling mushrooms at the restaurant and it wasn't the kind you put on a sandwich.

A confidential informant bought mushrooms and pot at the store. Investigators say the owner allowed the employee to store the drugs in a safe.

Officers confiscated more than a half of a pound of the drug.



The suspect is 27-year-old Michael Murtha. He is charged with drug possession with intent to sell.



 
Two busted for selling illegal mushrooms
October 15, 2007 - Jefferson Post



Two people are behind bars, charged with a variety of drug offenses including selling illegal mushrooms.

Their arrest came in the same week that Netherlands,which has the most liberal drug laws in the world, formally banned the psychedelic fungi, following a series of incidents that ended in suicides, accidental deaths and public rampages.

The two charged are:

William Allen Barker, 22, of Laurel Springs. He is charged with two counts of sale and delivery of Schedule I mushrooms, two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver Schedule I mushrooms, two counts of maintaining a vehicle for the purposes of selling and keeping narcotics, one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance, and one count of selling and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance. He is in Ashe County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

Audrey Lynn Miller, 18, of Jefferson, is charged with two counts of sale and delivery of Schedule I mushrooms, two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver Schedule I mushrooms, one count of maintaining a dwelling place for the purposes of selling and keeping narcotics, one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance, one count of selling and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance, one count of sale and delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance (hydrocodone). She is in Ashe County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

“These arrests came at the conclusion of an eight-week long investigation conducted by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff James Williams. “The two defendants were arrested and charged with selling a large quantity of mushrooms and some prescription medication.”

The investigation is continuing, and charges are pending against both suspects in Alleghany County, according to Williams.



 
Ashville, North Carolina
November 1, 2007-1

Police file 22 charges at Widespread Panic show
published November 1, 2007 9:45 am.

ASHEVILLE City police filed 20 drug-related charges from Wednesday night’s Widespread Panic show at the Civic Center.

The charges are broken down as follows:

-Five for schedule I controlled substances, which includes LSD and psilocybin mushrooms.

-Three for schedule II controlled substances, which includes cocaine.

-Seven for schedule VI controlled substances, which includes marijuana.

-Two maintaining a vehicle to store drugs and three possession of drug paraphernalia charges were filed. Two resisting officer charges also were filed.

Police seized 340 hits of LSD; 26 dosage units of ecstasy; 7.5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, along with a chocolate cookie and brownie laced with mushrooms; 1.8 grams of schedule II controlled substances; 19.9 grams of schedule VI controlled substances; 25 glass smoking pipes; one package of rolling papers; 10 inhalers and one Honda Accord.

 

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071101/NEWS01/71101018

"online has 58 comments to this story.



 
Watauga Democrat
http://www.wataugademocrat.com

ASU students arrested on drug charges

12/03/2004 By Jerry Sena

North CarolinaAppalachian State University Police arrested two ASU students on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, according to a statement released by university police, Thursday.

Policed charged Matthew Conor Byrnes, 18, with one misdemeanor and nine felony drug counts, including possession of 86 grams (three ounces) of marijuana, 180 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, and seven grams of cocaine.

Byrnes’s roommate, Andrew Lee Martin, 19, was also arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of half an ounce or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Byrnes faces three additional felony counts for storing the drugs in his Justice Hall dormitory room and three more felonies, one each for suspected sale of the three drugs.

ASU police said they were tipped off to the alleged drug activities by a call from the residence hall staff following a routine health and welfare inspection.

Byrnes was taken to the Watauga County Detention Center in Boone, where he is reportedly being held pending an $18,000 secured bond.

His initial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Watauga County District Court.

Martin makes his first court appearance Dec. 22, though police made no indication of his detention or bond status.

University police said they’d also confiscated $600 in cash, a digital scale and liquor during their search of the students’ room. Neither defendant is of age to legally possess or consume alcohol. Authorities have not said whether further charges were pending.

Justice Hall is named for former North Carolina General Assembly member E. J. Justice. The men’s dormitory is located on the west side of campus, at the corner of Rivers Street and Stadium Drive. Described by ASU literature as a smoke-free house, Justice Hall’s rooms are about 18 by 12 feet, contain two beds, and share a common walk-in closet.

University literature also notes the presence of security monitors for each floor

The arrests come almost exactly a month after the Oct. 21 murder of ASU senior Joey McClure, whose slaying Watauga County Sheriff’s investigators suspect is linked to drug trafficking.

• Jerry Sena may be contacted at jtsena@wataugademocrat.com.




 

http://www.wataugademocrat.com/topic.php?tid=25&sid=5036

High Country Briefs:

12/08/2004

Watauga Democrat Newspapers, Inc.
474 Industrial Park Drive
Boone, NC 28607

 

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office: Men in unrelated mushroom cases

Investigators with the Watauga County Sheriff's Office arrested Guy Francis Chiarello, 39, of Deep Gap on Monday when they allegedly found him growing psilocybin mushrooms in his home on Little Jakes Road.

Chiarello lived next door to a mobile home investigators suspect caught fire when its occupants were allegedly cooking methamphetamine.

Investigators had planned to interview him in their search for the perpetrators they believe responsible for the suspected meth-related fire last Friday afternoon.

Little Jakes Road is a brief gravel road just off Bynum Trivette Road, near U.S. 421 on the Watauga-Wilkes county line.

Chiarello has been charged with three felony counts, including possession and manufacture of, and maintaining a dwelling place for, a schedule I controlled substance.

He also has been charged with misdemeanor counts of simple possession of marijuana, possession of schedule IV and schedule III controlled substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was taken to the Watauga County Detention Center pending a $10,000 secured bond and given a district court date of Jan. 19.

The fire next door to Chiarello has already netted two arrests, Deborah Renee Arnette, 24, and Bobby Glenn Presnell, 35.

Sheriff Mark Shook has predicted more will be made soon.

“We know their names,” he said of the suspects still at large. “We’re just looking for them now.”

In an unrelated case, sheriff’s investigators arrested Chad Harrington Mitchell, 19, of Boone Dec. 1 for felony possession of psilocybin mushrooms and felony maintaining a dwelling place for a schedule I controlled substance.

He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of manufacturing a schedule I controlled substance, possession of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Harrington was being held pending a $17,000 secured bond with a court date of Jan. 5.

— Jerry Sena, staff writer.




 
June 2, 2006 newsobserver.com

RALEIGH Police charged a Wendell man Thursday with growing hundreds of grams of psychedelic mushrooms.

Douglas John Fishman of 6312 Pumpkin Seed Court was charged with the possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver psilocybin, according to records filed Thursday night at the Wake County magistrate's office.

Investigators with the Raleigh Police Department's Criminal Enterprise Unit have accused Fishman of manufacturing and possessing 500 grams of psilocybin mushrooms. The hallucinogenic mushrooms became popular in the 1960s.

Last year, Fishman was found guilty of maintaining a place for a controlled substance, records show. He was sentenced in Wake County District Court to one year probation.

Fishman is in custody at the Wake County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.



 
Asheville-Citizen-Times-North Carolina – Voice of the Mountains
citizentimes.com

Police blotter: Arrests for mushrooms, other drugs
by STAFF REPORTS
published December 19, 2006 7:44 am.

ASHEVILLE Two Buncombe County men were arrested Monday after sheriff's deputies said they had 29 grams of psilocybin, or hallucinogenic mushrooms, in their possession.

Deputies charged Mark Justin Daly, 19, of Oakhurst Road in Arden, and Daniel Russell Wheeler, 18, of Curtis Miles Road in Alexander, with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver it.

Wheeler also was charged with maintaining a vehicle for drugs. He was held in lieu of a $20,000 secured bond.




 
www.the-dispatch.com
The Dispatch Online
June 19. 2007 1:00PM

Sheriff's deputies bust mushroom lab

From staff reports

A weeklong investigation has resulted in the Monday arrest of a Clemmons man suspected of keeping an indoor mushroom lab.

According to the Davidson County
Sheriff's Office, Trevor Allen Rodgers, 22, of Twin Brook Drive, was taken into custody on suspicion of maintaining a grow lab, where investigators found between 40 to 50 mushrooms.

Rodgers has been charged with manufacturing and possession of a schedule I controlled substance as well as maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His bond was set at $5,000 secured.

He will appear in court July 31.



 
Undercover A.L.E. agents cracking down in Charlotte
11:56 PM EDT on Friday, July 27, 2007.
By
MELISSA MARTIN / WCNC
E-mail Melissa: MMartin@WCNC.com

Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers and Alcohol Law Enforcement agents went undercover outside the Widespread Panic concert Friday, looking for underage drinking and drugs. Dozens of people never even made it inside, instead they spent the night in jail.

As people tailgated before the Widespread Panic concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, undercover officers wandered through the crowd.

“We're looking for any illegal drugs, any dangerous drugs,” said ALE agent Omar Qureshi.

ALE agents work numerous concerts, but Friday night they were expecting a lot of drug use.

“Maybe it's a crowd that follows them, or a type of reputation that comes with this crowd or group,” said Qureshi.

Officers say they found plenty of illegal drug use. One officer confiscated 25 pounds of mushrooms hidden in chocolate bars. They also found ecstasy, marijuana, pipes, Xanax, mushrooms, even LSD concealed in the middle of a sweetart.

Officers arrested at least 80 people on drug charges, and others for underage drinking.

“Tonight the big difference was the dangerous drugs that were there,” said Qureshi.

A lot of dangerous drugs that are now off the streets.

“Hopefully it's a safer place tonight because of that,” said Qureshi.

Officers say the crowd that in the past has been volatile, but Friday night no one was hurt.  That’s the idea, getting the drugs and alcohol out of the mix before the concert begins prevents fights, assaults, and people home driving under the influence.



 
North Carolina:
CITIZEN-TIMES.COM
ASHVILLE-CITIZEN TIMES – COICE OF THE MOUNTAIN

Man charged with manufacturing magic mushrooms

by Staff Reports
updated March 7, 2008 7:34 am

BARNARDSVILLE – Sheriff's deputies Thursday charged a Barnardsville man with manufacturing 10 jars of psilocybin mushrooms, commonly called "magic mushrooms."

Johnanton Levi Griffin, 19, of 181 North Fork Road, also faces drug possession charges, maintaining a dwelling for using drugs, and citations for possessing marijuana and a pipe.

Griffin was being held in the Buncombe County Detention Center $16,000 bond.




 
North Carolina

Wednesday, April 29, 2009.

Drug search nets 400 doses of mushrooms

Narcotics investigators seized about 20 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms last night during a search of a Columbia apartment that resulted in two arrests, police said.

Columbia police officers and members of the MUSTANG drug task force served a narcotics-related search warrant at 10:40 p.m. at 213 Willow Way, Apt. C, police said. The search resulted in the seizure of the mushrooms, which amounted to about 400 doses, about 23 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, police said.


Jason Wolfe.

Jason Wolfe, 31, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, misdemeanor marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held this morning at the Boone County Jail with no bond set on the distribution charge.

Elizabeth Aronson, 20, of 410 Wilkes Blvd. was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor marijuana possession.



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