Revised January 1, 2006; July 30, 2007; November 5, 2007; August 3, 2009; August 29, 2009; and April 12, 2017.
Copyright 1998-2009 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 Pennsylvania.
They are arranged alphabetically by newspapers and then Chronologically by dates.



Pennsylvania
A page devoted to newspaper clippings from Pennsylvania


 
Teen accused of drug cultivation
By
Amy A. Winnemore , EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
12/03/2003

HAVERTOWN - A Bryn Mawr teenager, who allegedly cultivated mushrooms for drug use in his bedroom closet and had videotape on how to grow them, waived his preliminary hearing.

Christopher Renfro, 19, of the 100 block of Stockton Road, was arrested on drug charges and carrying a false identification card. Bail was set at $5,000 unsecured and the arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 18.
Haverford Township police officers executed a search warrant at Renfro's residence at 2:19 p.m. Aug. 15.
In Renfro's bedroom, police found several glass smoking pipes and a smoking bong, each with suspected marijuana residue. In a copybook, police found a tally sheet with names and amounts of money for marijuana and diagrams of Renfro's bedroom and basement.
Found in his closet was a white cooler, which had been converted into a mushroom cultivator and contained a videotape on how to grow mushrooms, according to police.
Drug paraphernalia and numerous unused clear plastic bags were also found in the closet In addition, a cup with marijuana residue and $200 were found in Renfro's bedroom.
In another bedroom police found a safe containing drug paraphernalia and $13,500. In his wallet, police found a North Carolina driver's license with Renfro's picture, but a false
birth date.

News of Delaware County
Pennsylvania



 
Shroom’ arrests expected

Police: People rented two apartments, living in one and growing hallucinogenic mushrooms in the other.

by
TED CZECH

Daily Record/Sunday News
Saturday, February 5, 2005

York City Police say they have the lease agreements to two Pine Hill Farms apartments — one of which housed a hallucinogenic mushroom farm — and hope to have warrants for at least three people soon.

“We have a good idea who was involved,” said Detective Jim McBride. “We think at least one of them was there when we entered.”

Police raided the apartments, in the 400 block of Piedmont Circle, Thursday night and discovered a door that had been built between the two apartments. One apartment was used solely for harvesting mushrooms; the other was used for living, McBride said. Inside the apartment where the people lived, police found a television on and a plateful of dinner nearby, he said.

McBride said he was unsure how long the people had lived there, but said, “I imagine as soon as they got in, they fixed it up. . . . There was a lot of effort taken inside the apartment to make it conducive for them to grow — air purifiers, some lighting, water and chemicals.”

Throughout the apartment’s rooms, police found the illegal mushrooms in various stages of growth: five pounds of dried mushrooms, which are ready to be sold; 50 tubs of mushrooms still growing, and more than 100 containers of spores, ready to be planted, McBride said.

Dried mushrooms sell on the street for about $1,800 a pound, McBride said.

McBride said police drove to the apartment just after 8 p.m. A woman who lives above the mushroom farm called 911 because a strong odor from the apartment was giving her a headache, he said.

Police did not get a response when they knocked on the door, and fearing that someone was injured inside, broke out a window. Police’s suspicions were aroused further when they peered inside, and saw the front door had been barricaded, McBride said.

Once inside the apartment, police found the farm. They spent several hours at the apartment, and confiscated the drugs and equipment, McBride said.

York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Graff said mushroom farms are not prevalent in York County.

“I think it’s uncommon,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time we had a good shroom case.”

Graff said the people operating the farm were not doing it simply for their own use, they were growing the mushrooms for sale. Manufacturing illegal drugs is a felony, Graff said.

Quiet neighborhood

Although Pine Hill Farms is part of York, it is separated from the rest of the city by Route 30 and borders Manchester Township. Neighbors said they were stunned someone would set up a drug operation in the quiet neighborhood, where kids are often at play.

Donald Reynolds said he’s lived there for about a year, and in that time never noticed anything unusual at the apartments police raided, nor did he know who lived there.

When he saw police cordon off the front yard with yellow tape Thursday night, he thought someone had died inside.

“It was quite shocking to hear that was going on there,” he said. “We didn’t think in this neighborhood, that anyone would be doing something like that.”

Andres Navarrete said he too had no idea drugs were being grown in the nearby apartment.

“We just moved over here a few months ago and I have four kids that play (near there). . . . I don’t want my children to see that kind of stuff,” he said. “I didn’t think that people lived over there, I never saw anyone.”
Reach Ted Czech at 771-2033 or tczech@ydr.com

York, Pennsylvania




 
York, Pennsylvania large Shroom grow op bust feb-july

Neither David Minnich, nor his lawyer Suzanne Smith, could be immediately reached for comment
Hallucinogenic Mushroom "Farm" Found
#3733957 - 02/05/05 03:05 AM

"Shroom" arrests expected
Saturday, February 5, 2005
York Daily Record

Published: February 4, 2005, York Daily Record (PA)
HALLUCINOGENS Mushrooms spark case
York City Police said they discovered a hallucinogenic mushroom farm in an apartment in 400 block Piedmont Circle on Thursday night. Information wasn't available on what led police to the farm, but authorities said people running the lab lived in one apartment and were growing mushrooms in one connected to it.

Hallucinogenic mushrooms are drugs that people eat. According to the U.S. Department of Justice Web site, mushrooms are usually used by people at raves, clubs and full story, 275 words

Article 10 of 11, Article ID: MERLIN_829491
Published: February 5, 2005, York Daily Record (PA)
'Shroom' arrests expected Police: People rented two apartments, living in one and growing hallucinogenic mushrooms in the other.
York City Police say they have the lease agreements to two Pine Hill Farms apartments - one of which housed a hallucinogenic mushroom farm - and hope to have warrants for at least three people soon. "We have a good idea who was involved," said Detective Jim McBride. "We think at least one of them was there when we entered."

Police raided the apartments, in the 400 block of Piedmont Circle, Thursday night and discovered a door that had been full story, 734 words


Published: February 10, 2005, York Daily Record (PA). Two charged with growing illegal mushrooms The husband and wife turned themselves in earlier this week and were released.
A husband and wife, who allegedly helped harvest a hallucinogenic mushroom farm in a Pine Hill Farms apartment, turned themselves in to authorities earlier this week, police said. David M. Minnich, 26, was arraigned before District Justice Richard Martin on Tuesday afternoon.

Martin arraigned Minnich's wife, Manette J. Minnich, 26, on Wednesday morning.

Both were charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver and conspiracy.

Martin said he released them full story, 685 words

Published: February 16, 2005, York Daily Record (PA)
Two more sought in 'shroom case Police said one of the men told them he wanted to turn himself in, but hasn't yet.
York City Police filed arrest warrants last week for two other people who they allege harvested a hallucinogenic mushroom farm in a Pine Hill Farms apartment. Matthew Denny, 29, and Edward Johnson Jr., 20, are charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver and conspiracy.

Police said they raided 487 and 489 Piedmont Circle on Feb. 3 and found that 489 was used solely for harvesting mushrooms, while 487 was used as a living quarters. They also found a "trap full story, 534 words

Published: March 29, 2005, York Daily Record (PA)
'Shroom cases to trial Manette Minnich said she was ignorant of a secret door to a growth room.
York City Police detectives readily conceded Monday that Manette Minnich, a stout woman, would not fit through the small trapdoor between her Piedmont Circle apartment and the hallucinogenic mushroom farm in the apartment next door. "She would get stuck," Detective James McBride said.

But District Justice Richard E. Martin II ruled, considering the size and smell of the mushroom harvesting operation, the 26-year-old "had to have some full story, 618 words

Article 28 of 49, Article ID: MERLIN_1034776
Published: July 6, 2005, York Daily Record (PA)
Mushroom farmer pleads guilty The plea deal frees his wife from drug and conspiracy charges.
A York man accused of growing psychedelic mushrooms pleaded guilty Tuesday to drug charges in an agreement with the York County District Attorney's Office that included the dismissal of charges against his wife. David M. Minnich, 27, and his wife, Manette Minnich, 26, were arrested and charged with possession with the intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy to deliver hallucinogenic mushrooms after York City Police discovered a large mushroom-growing operation in the apartment full story, 267 words.



 
York Penn,

"Shroom" arrests expected
Saturday, February 5, 2005
York Daily Record

Police: People rented two apartments, living in one and growing hallucinogenic mushrooms in the other.

York City Police say they have the lease agreements to two Pine Hill Farms apartments - one of which housed a hallucinogenic mushroom farm - and hope to have warrants for at least three people soon.

"We have a good idea who was involved", said Detective Jim McBride. "We think at least one of them was there when we entered."

Police raided the apartments, in the 400 block of Piedmont Circle, Thursday night and discovered a door that had been built between the two apartments. One apartment was used solely for harvesting mushrooms; the other was used for living, McBride said. Inside the apartment where the people lived, police found a television on and a plateful of dinner nearby, he said.

McBride said he was unsure how long the people had lived there, but said, "I imagine as soon as they got in, they fixed it up. . . . There was a lot of effort taken inside the apartment to make it conducive for them to grow - air purifiers, some lighting, water and chemicals."

Throughout the apartment's rooms, police found the illegal mushrooms in various stages of growth: five pounds of dried mushrooms, which are ready to be sold; 50 tubs of mushrooms still growing, and more than 100 containers of spores, ready to be planted, McBride said.

Dried mushrooms sell on the street for about $1,800 a pound, McBride said.

McBride said police drove to the apartment just after 8 p.m. A woman who lives above the mushroom farm called 911 because a strong odor from the apartment was giving her a headache, he said.

Police did not get a response when they knocked on the door, and fearing that someone was injured inside, broke out a window. Police's suspicions were aroused further when they peered inside, and saw the front door had been barricaded, McBride said.

Once inside the apartment, police found the farm. They spent several hours at the apartment, and confiscated the drugs and equipment, McBride said.

York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Graff said mushroom farms are not prevalent in York County.

"I think it's uncommon", he said. "I can't remember the last time we had a good shroom case."

Graff said the people operating the farm were not doing it simply for their own use, they were growing the mushrooms for sale. Manufacturing illegal drugs is a felony, Graff said.

Quiet neighborhood

Although Pine Hill Farms is part of York, it is separated from the rest of the city by Route 30 and borders Manchester Township. Neighbors said they were stunned someone would set up a drug operation in the quiet neighborhood, where kids are often at play.

Donald Reynolds said he’s lived there for about a year, and in that time never noticed anything unusual at the apartments police raided, nor did he know who lived there.

When he saw police cordon off the front yard with yellow tape Thursday night, he thought someone had died inside.

"It was quite shocking to hear that was going on there", he said. "We didn't think in this neighborhood, that anyone would be doing something like that."

Andres Navarrete said he too had no idea drugs were being grown in the nearby apartment.

"We just moved over here a few months ago and I have four kids that play (near there). . . . I don't want my children to see that kind of stuff", he said. "I didn't think that people lived over there, I never saw anyone."

Feb 2005.
Letter from newspaper to me.

Well I wrote a letter to the
journalist who wrote the article and told him about the edibles and the fact that shrooms sell for about $600 dollars per dried pound, not $800 per pound as the cops said and also about how spores are not planted.,

He went to my site and sent me this email this morning.
Not everyone writes me back when they published these kinda stories."


Mr. Allen -- Thanks for the e-mail, I appreciate the feedback. If we ever have another one of these shroom-raids, (who knows when that might be, this is the first in the five years I've been here), I'll be sure to get your input. Thanks, Ted Czech

mj




 
State police nab Dubois couple for 'mushrooms'

By Tom Mitchell
LEADER TIMES
Wednesday, January 4, 2006


NORTH BUFFALO State police made a rather unusual drug arrest on New Year’s Day when troopers nabbed a DuBois couple with a “felony amount” of psilocybin mushrooms.

East Franklin state police commander Thomas Dubovi said Tpr. Jeremy Bowser stopped a vehicle Sunday on Route 422 for a vehicle-code violation and noticed that the driver was acting in a peculiar manner.

After detecting the odor of marijuana, Bowser obtaining permission to search the vehicle and discovered several plastic bags of mushrooms. Suspecting that the find might be psilocybin mushrooms, used as a psychedelic drug, Bowser arrested 29-year-old Ryan Vaughn Muirhead and a companion, Loryn Rae Amilkavich, 20.

Muirhead was evaluated at the East Franklin station by Tpr. Ronald Vetovich, and it was determined that Muirhead was under the influence of marijuana.

influence of marijuana.

Dubovi said Vetovich is one of eight troopers in the state qualified as a drug-recognition expert.

Later, Muirhead consented to a blood test at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital in East Franklin.

“We’re very fortunate to have Tpr. Vetovich at our station,” Dubovi said. “Additional troopers are being trained in drug-recognition symptoms, but right now, we have only eight in the entire state.”

Dubovi said Vetovich is “on call” to assist municipal police departments that might need his expertise.

He added that Vetovich’s training qualifies him to do a battery of tests that take about an hour and determine what drug a person may have used.

Dubovi did not disclose the exact amount of mushrooms that were confiscated Sunday but said it was significant enough to warrant felony charges against the couple.

Amilkavich told police that the bags of mushrooms were worth between $80 and $120 each and said they were a “Christmas gift” from a friend. A small amount of suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia also were taken from the couple along with about $4,000 in cash that was hidden in Amilkavich’s clothing.

Armstrong County Chief Detective and head of the District Attorney’s Drug Taskforce, Paul Rearick, said the task force has never made an arrest for possession of psilocybin mushrooms to date.

“We had a small amount that was found and turned into us about four years ago,” Rearick said, “but we never found out who had possession of them.”

Rearick said that although the mushrooms, a member of the Amanita mushroom family, may grow wild in parts of the country, including Pennsylvania, possession of the mushrooms is a crime.

However, Rearick and Dubovi said Sunday’s arrest was more likely an isolated case and did not necessarily mark the start of a new trend.

Heroin remains the number one drug problem in Armstrong County.

Possession of a small amount of the mushrooms is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison or a $5,000 fine.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, psilocybin mushrooms are a psychedelic drug that can cause hallucinations that last four to seven hours after consumption.

However, side effects may often include a cold feeling, nausea and vomiting, gas bloating and stomach discomfort, an increased heart and blood-pressure rate, mood swings, and anxiety or paranoia.

Muirhead and Amilkavich were arraigned before District Judge J. Gary DeComo and committed to the Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond each. DeComo said this is the first case involving the drug in the county that he can recall.

Tom Mitchell can be reached at tmitchell@tribweb.com or (724) 543-1303 ext 220.

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/newssummary/s_410245.html




 

http://www.dailyitem.com

 

Sunbury, Pennsylvania

 

'Magic mushrooms' found in Sunbury

By

December 29, 2006

SUNBURY — Hallucinogenic mushrooms were found at the home of a Sunbury man Thursday night during a routine inspection by Northumberland County probation officers, police said.



Codi Reichenbach, 18, of 7 Haas Ave., will be charged with felony manufacturing of a schedule I controlled substance, which carries a possible sentence of 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines, police said.

Officer Travis Bremigen said he was phoned around 7 o'clock when a probation officer who was checking on another resident at the home discovered a sealed plastic container that held an unknown substance.

When Mr. Bremigen was shown the white, tendril-like growths, he immediately identified them.

"There are well over 150-200 individual mushrooms," he said. "In almost eight years of law enforcement I haven't seen anything like that here."

Because the mushrooms that were seized were immature, Mr. Bremigen was unsure how many pounds could be harvested from the box or their exact street value.

According to Wikipedia.com, an ounce of dried mushrooms, or "magic mushrooms," as they are called on the street, could sell for $70 to $400, depending on quality and availability.

A drug identification guide produced by Streetdrugs.org lists the effects of hallucinogenic mushrooms as "varying degrees of illusions, hallucinations, disorientation, impaired coordination and confusion."

Psychological dependence and psychosis are possible long-term effects of the drug.

Mr. Bremigen said the police department will retain the mushrooms until after the preliminary hearing and trial.

"This kid's only 18 years old," he said. "If any parents see something like this, feel free to give us a call, and we'll come check it out."

Mr. Reichenbach will also be charged with four misdemeanor drug counts.




 

http://www.sharonherald.com

 


Man facing drug charges in ‘magic mushroom’ operation
June 21, 2007 - sharonherald.com

A Sharon man faces felony drug charges after police said they found a large-scale hallucinogenic mushroom-growing operation in his Meek Street home early Thursday.

Trent John Tompkins, 21, of 359 Meek, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia.

Sharon police Chief Mike Menster said police went to Tompkins’ home at 1:10 a.m. Thursday looking for a stolen laptop computer and saw what they thought looked like a drug lab.

They obtained a search warrant and called in a trained team from state police, including two chemists, to test the materials in the house, Menster said.

“We didn’t know at first what we had in there,” Menster said. “We didn’t want to take any chances.”

Capt. Travis Martwinski said Tompkins had hallucinogenic mushrooms in various stages of growth.

Martwinski said the operation posed no threat to the neighborhood and didn’t create biohazards like a methamphetamine lab does.

He said it seemed Tompkins was also selling starter kits for people to grow the fungi themselves.

Menster said there were tubs and more than 100 canning jars and other materials to manufacture the mushrooms, such as mushroom cake mixture.

The cakes are injected with liquid spores and when kept in the right moisture, temperature and light, the mushrooms grow, Menster said.

Police also recovered a bulletproof vest from Tompkins’ home and took a computer to be analyzed, Menster said.

Menster said it’s the first time he knows of a lab so large being discovered in the city. Because of that, police aren’t sure how much the mushrooms are worth.

He said Tompkins was the only person living there as far as police know.

Police were at the scene until 1:30 p.m. Thursday removing items from the house.

Tompkins was taken to Mercer County Jail after failing to post $50,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next Thursday before District Judge James E. McMahon, Sharon.

Image 1:



Sharon Patrolman Vincent Martwinski, left, and Captain Travis Martwinski rope off the front yard of 359 Meek St., where police Thursday found a hallucinogenic mushroom-growing operation. Chemists from the state police tested materials found in the home on the lawn.

None / David E. Dale/Herald

Image2:



Police removed materials for a large hallucinogenic mushroom-growing operation from this home at 359 Meek St., Sharon, Thursday morning. The man who lives there, Trent Tompkins, was taken to Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond.
None / David E. Dale/Herald

Image 3:


Sharon police inspect items they removed Thursday from a home at 359 Meek St. where they said they found a large-scale hallucinogenic mushroom-growing operation.
None / David E. Dale/Herald

Image 4:

None / David E. Dale/Herald




 
Pennsylvania
http://www.vindy.com

Vindy.com published Sunday 7-22-2007-1
Mushroom Discovery Surprises Cops

One study found the drug's effects ranged from fear to mystical experiences.

By
Laure Cioffi
Vindicator Pennsylvania Bureau.

SHARON, Pa. — Though mushrooms can often be found growing wild, what Sharon police officers found last month in a Meek Street home was a whole different story.

Nearly 100 Mason jars and blue plastic storage totes inside were cultivating hallucinogenic mushrooms. They are illegal in this country and are considered in the same class of drugs as LSD.

"We've run into a few people who've taken them before, but never growing them," said Sharon Police Chief Mike Menster. "The whole house was filled with these containers and Mason jars."

The mushrooms are so rare that police didn't know what they were at first. They had to call in a special unit of the Pennsylvania State Police to help identify them.

Though the state police could identify the drugs, a 22-year veteran of the vice squad, which covers a five-county region, including Mercer County, said he's never run across them before they were found in this Sharon home.

Cpl. Tim Wiles, supervisor of the Butler-based unit, said the only similar drug he has run across in his career is peyote, a hallucinogen produced from cactuses usually found in the desert.

But peyote was not widely used here and usually found only when the rock band Grateful Dead was touring in the region, he said.

Because the hallucinogenic mushrooms are so uncommon, neither law enforcement agency could place a value on what officers discovered in the Meek Street home.

The owner of the Meek Street home is free on $10,000 bond and is awaiting trial in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

What the drug is

The National Drug Intelligence Center, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, classifies "magic mushrooms" as psilocybin mushrooms, a hallucinogen indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the United States.

While they can grow wild in some tropical areas, hallucinogenic mushrooms grown in this region must be specially cultivated with mold spores and other ingredients. They also require special temperature control.

They are ingested orally by users and can be eaten fresh or dried. Some are brewed as tea or added to other foods to mask their bitter flavor.

Popular at raves, clubs and on college campuses, they are generally used by teenagers and young adults, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center.

But, the NDIC says it's difficult to gauge the extent of mushrooms' use in this country.

Studying the effects

One study by the University of Michigan revealed that 9.2 percent of high school seniors in the United States used hallucinogens other than LSD — a category that includes magic mushrooms — at least once in their life. And 2 percent used hallucinogens other than LSD in the past month, according to those studied.

Roland Griffiths, a researcher and professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, conducted a government-funded study in 2006 on the effects of psilocybin — the hallucinogenic ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms.

Thirty-six volunteers were given psilocybin in a controlled laboratory, and the effects of the drug were then observed.

According to the study, the effects ranged from severe anxiety and fear to what some participants described as mystical experiences.

Psilocybin has been used for centuries in a sacred or religious context in Mexico and South America, Griffiths said last week.

He noted that he is not an advocate for or against the use of such hallucinogenic drugs, but his purpose was to study the effects.

The study notes that these types of drugs, while labeled in the government's most restrictive category under illegal drugs, are not considered to be "drugs of addiction" because they do not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior as do drugs such as cocaine, heroin and alcohol.

The study adds that most recreational users of these hallucinogenic drugs decrease or stop use over time.

The study stresses the volunteers were carefully screened and the amount of psilocybin was carefully monitored.

cioffi@vindy.com




 
Philly.com
Pennstlvania
11-28-2007
Posted on Wed, Nov. 28, 2007
Police seize high-potency marijuana, arrest 2 men
By
Barbara Boyer

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20071128_Police_seize_high-potency_marijuana__arrest_2_men.html

A potent type of marijuana known as AK47 - so strong that some users are treated in emergency rooms for overdoses - has hit the Philadelphia area.

Today, police laid out 16 pounds of the stuff they said they confiscated from a high-level dealer who supplied the suburbs: Michael Cascioli, 31, of the 6100 block of City Avenue. He was arrested Monday in his penthouse suite and charged with multiple drug offenses.

Also arrested was Jeremy Sarkissina, 34, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who allegedly showed up with $14,000 to buy drugs while police were executing a search warrant, Narcotics Chief Inspector William Blackburn said. That money was confiscated, as well.

Police put the value of the marijuana at $812,000. On Tuesday, as the probe continued, investigators seized 12 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms worth $614,000 and more than $439,000 in cash, police said.

"This was a large-scale smuggling operation," Blackburn said. The drugs came up from South America to Canada, and then went through New York to reach this area, he said.

"Most of his clients were from the suburbs," Blackburn said of Cascioli, calling his customers "high-end" buyers who purchased by the pound and then sold smaller quantities. "He wasn't selling this stuff on the street level. People would come and buy pretty large amounts of marijuana."

Blackburn said that in marijuana circles, the AK47 strain is called "the one-hit wonder" and "an award-winning drug."

Web sites that sell marijuana seeds call AK47 a highly potent form of the drug.

Hospitals are seeing more teens in emergency rooms because of the "overdose, effects and powerfulness of this drug," Blackburn said, adding that overdoses are not "typical of marijuana, but it's typical of this type of marijuana."

Blackburn said the Narcotics Field Unit started with an investigation last month. A team headed by Officers Tom Liciardello, Jeff Walker and Brian Reynolds then coordinated controlled buys, surveillance and intelligence gathering, said Narcotics Capt. Chris Werner. In addition to the FBI, police also had assistance from Montgomery County and Maryland police.

On Monday, officers moved in on Cascioli in his rented penthouse suite. In addition to the cash and drugs confiscated there, Blackburn said $16,000 was seized from a bank account.

Tuesday, investigators followed up at an apartment that Cascioli rented in Bala Cynwyd, where they confiscated $87,000 in cash. Later that day, they executed a warrant in upscale Columbia, Md., where $320,000 more was confiscated in a relative's home, Blackburn said.

Blackburn said police have found small quantities of AK47 before, but never such a large amount at once. Blackburn said the investigation was continuing, including an examination of other assets Cascioli may have.

"That's where we brought in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they're assisting us in trying to figure out exactly how high-level this individual was," Blackburn said.

Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 215-854-2641 or bboyer@phillynews.com.




 
nj.com
The Express Times

Trio stopped at DUI checkpoint arrested
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
from staff reports

HANOVER TWP. Police arrested a 24-year-old East Allen Township man and two of his friends at a DUI checkpoint Saturday morning and say they found bags of marijuana, strips of LSD and packages of psychedelic mushrooms.

Joshua A. Yeakel, 24, of East Allen Township; Matthew I. Ande, 28, of Allentown, and Christopher Luetbecker, 26, of Whitehall Township, were stopped at a DUI checkpoint at 1:30 a.m. near Airport Road and Orchard Lane while Ande was driving. Ande told police he had been drinking and smoking.

Police said Ande's blood-alcohol level was measured with a portable tester at 0.12 percent. Police said they found eight packaged mushrooms in the glove box along with 10 strips of LSD. Police also searched a backpack belonging to Luetbecker and found bags of marijuana, a scale, empty bags and $768 in cash.

All three men were charged with drug possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ande and Yeakel were sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $15,000 bail. Luetbecker was sent in lieu of $20,000 bail.

All three are scheduled for a preliminary hearing 10:45 a.m. June 24.

http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-17/1213677328132200.xml&coll=2



 
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_577882.html
Pennshroomlabbust-7-16-2008-1

'Psychedelic mushroom' lab discovered in Rankin

By Chris Togneri

By Chris Togneri
TRIBUNE-REVIEW

 


July 16, 2008 - pittsburghlive.com

Hazmat crews were called to 205 Division St. in Rankin early Wednesday morning on a report of a possible methamphetamine lab.

Rankin police arrived at the house to serve one of the occupants with a warrant. The person was not home at the time, but police looked inside the house and said they saw suspicious activity.

“When they initially walked into a certain room up there, they saw tubing and a dehumidifier in the room -- all the things that are used to develop a meth lab,” Police Chief Ryan Wooten said.

Additional police, firefighters, paramedics and hazmat teams were called to the scene due to the potential danger presented by the lab.

If not handled properly, it could lead to a massive explosion.

But police said they found a hallucinogenic mushroom lab in the home instead.

“To put everybody at ease, it's not a meth lab,” Wooten said. “It is a lab we believe they were growing mushrooms in.”

Wooten said the people who lived in the house were growing mushrooms because it’s a cheap, easy way to get high.

Wooten said it’s also the first time in his 15-year career he’s heard of someone growing mushrooms inside his own house.

“Well, I guess that’s where we need to go when we make pizza, huh?” Wooten said.

However, residents in the neighborhood are not stunned by drug activity in the area.

“It doesn't surprise me. There have been so many drugs around here for so many years, it doesn’t make any difference what type it is,” said neighbor Kenneth Pierce.

Susan Pierce, a longtime resident, has also seen her share of problems in the area.

“Nothing amazes me that happens around here. I’ve been here for over 30 years and I’ve seen too much,” Pierce said.

Police took two people into custody and confiscated everything inside the lab.

 

Email this doofer?

 

ctogneri@tribweb.com




 
Wilson Borough woman accused of growing hallucinogenic mushrooms across the street from Philip Lauer Middle School

July 7, 2009.

lehighvalleylive.com

Easton, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
By MICHAEL BUCK
The Express-Times

WILSON BOROUGH
- Police busted a hallucinogenic mushroom-growing operation Thursday in a home across the street from Philip Lauer Middle School, court records say.

Police discovered Janis Jankowich was growing the mushrooms when they responded to a report of a domestic dispute, court records show. After arriving, they searched the home in the 2400 block of Firmstone Street. Police said Jankowich consented to the search.

Jankowich allegedly used a red and white Igloo cooler for growing the mushrooms and had other materials for growing the drugs such as petri dishes and fertilizers.

Some of the drugs were packaged and ready for sale, records say. Also inside the house, police found a small amount of cocaine, records say.

Jankowich was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. She was arraigned before District Judge Todd Strohe and sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Reporter Michael Buck can be reached at 610-258-7171 or by e-mail at mbuck@express-times.com.




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