Norwalk man charged in hallucinogenic mushroom operation
Stamford police display evidence seized as part of an investigation into a hallucinogenic mushroom growing operation. Police arrested Darrin St. Amand, 25, of Norwalk and charged him with possession of hallucinogenic drugs, operating a drug factory and possession with intent to sell. Photo: Contributed Photo / Stamford Advocate Contributed
STAMFORD -- A Norwalk man was arrested Thursday for allegedly growing hallucinogenic mushrooms in his home, Stamford police said.
The arrest may be part of a local revival of "magic" mushrooms spurred by easily accessible guides on growing psilocybin mushrooms at home, Police Capt. Richard Conklin said.
Hallucinogenic "mushrooms have been around for a while, but we're seeing a resurgence of them," Conklin said. "These home-growns might be producing them. You get a lot of direction from the Internet. It's a theory at this point."
Darrin St. Amand, 25, of 8 Quaker Road, Norwalk, was charged with housing an extensive illegal psilocybin mushroom growing operation in his home after Stamford narcotics investigators bought LSD, ecstasy and mushrooms from him during a undercover investigation that began in Stamford and led police to his home, said Stamford Police Lt. Tim Shaw.
St. Amand was charged with five counts of possession of a hallucinogen, four counts of sale of a hallucinogen, a single count of manufacturing a hallucinogen, operating a drug factory, and possession of a hallucinogen with intent to sell.
He was held in lieu of $10,000 bond and is due in court May 26.
Stamford narcotics investigators worked with the Special Services Unit of the Norwalk Police Department in the investigation. St. Amand was arrested Thursday when police arranged to buy an eighth of mushrooms from him; police then searched his home.
In his home, police found syringes filled with mushroom spores, a sterile containment box, an area for hatching mushrooms and several ounces of hallucinogenic mushrooms, worth about $3,000, police said.
"It was definitely a sophisticated operation," Shaw said. "It was something we've never seen."
Conklin said pieces of the mushroom-growing operation were found throughout St. Amand's residence. St. Amand told guests he was growing gourmet mushrooms for local restaurants, Conklin said.
Jeff Morganteen, Staff Writer
Published: 10:06 p.m., Friday, May 14, 2010