Murfreesboro Police recovered more than 35 pounds of hallucinogenic mushroom chocolate bars and a felony amount of marijuana Wednesday evening that would have otherwise been heading to the Bonnaroo music festival today.
“Mushrooms are similar to LSD in the fact that they cause people to hallucinate, and like LSD a person can die the first time they use these poisonous mushrooms, especially in the condition that they were in here,” said Murfreesboro Police spokesman Kyle Evans. “Being baked into chocolate makes it a lot easier to consume more than is needed for the high in a short amount of time and can lead to overdose.”
The arrests of Charles Culver, 22, James Segars, 20, and Edgar Chamu, 23, came just hours before the festival was set to begin. The men, who were baking the mushrooms into chocolate peanut butter cups at their 303 W. Kingwood Drive home, admitted to police they planned to take the items to the weekend festival in Manchester.
“The bust was not far from two city schools and several churches, and was located in a typically quiet neighborhood,” Evans said. “The fact that these are former college students living in a typical neighborhood goes to show that drugs can be found anywhere at anytime. If anyone suspects drugs are being sold or produced don’t hesitate to call law enforcement and bring it to our attention. “
The arrests were made on the heels of a lengthy investigation by the Murfreesboro Police Department Vice Unit, according to police. Detectives Jeff Baskette and Merrill Beene lead the investigation.
“Drugs of an unknown type, a felony amount of marijuana and several thousands of dollars in cash and several guns were also recovered from the home,” said Evans, who commended the detectives’ work.
“The detectives in the vice unit as a whole should be proud of this investigation,” he said. “There’s no telling how many lives they may have saved by keeping these drugs off the streets.
The mushrooms recovered from the home were not grown there, according to police. The street value of each individual chocolate cup was estimated by police to be $20.
A popular illicit drug Web site indicates that most mushrooms are sold for $20 per 3.5 gram baggy.
The active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms produce a variety of symptoms in the drug user, including euphoria, giggling, creative thinking, sensation of insight, intense feelings of wonder, intense emotional sensitivity, time perception alteration, change in consciousness, closed-eye visuals, intense feelings of fear, anxiety and confusion.
BY MARK BELL
June 11, 2009