Olympia fugitive wanted for growing hallucinogenic mushrooms caught in Oregon
Deputies in Washington County, Ore., have arrested an Olympia fugitive wanted in connection with a 2005 case in which he was accused of growing at least 90 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms at his rural property northeast of Millersylvania State Park.
Douglas Dylan Hiatt, 46, faces charges in Thurston County of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and maintaining a building or dwelling for drug purposes, according to his criminal information filed in April 2006.
Hiatt was arrested March 24 at his home in an area near Portland that falls under the jurisdiction of Washington County, an official in the records division at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives in Washington County began investigating Hiatt after responding to his home in the 400 block of 90th Avenue Southwest because of a noise complaint March 20, the records official said. Deputies became suspicious because he gave several names and dates of birth, she said. Deputies returned to arrest Hiatt on suspicion of giving them false information after they were unable to verify his personal information, according to the records official.
Thurston County Chief Criminal Deputy James Chamberlain verified that Hiatt returned to Thurston County Jail on Wednesday, after he waived extradition on the Thurston County warrant for failure to appear.
According to a 2005 story in The Olympian, Thurston County narcotics detectives raided Hiatt’s Tilley Road Southwest property in October of that year. Hiatt allegedly was growing hallucinogenic mushrooms.
The property had fallen under the scrutiny of law enforcement in 2004 after an informant called the FBI, a detective told The Olympian in the 2005 story.
Hiatt “would have been able to harvest approximately 160 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms” at the location had he been able to complete the harvest, court papers state. Detectives seized more than 90 pounds of mushrooms during the raid, according to the 2005 story.
Also according to the story, at the time of Hiatt’s arrest, he was selling herbs and flowers through his business Shady Grove Farm and was a regular vendor at the Olympia Farmers Market, where he sold hanging plants and flower bowls.
Detectives said in the 2005 story that the operation at the Tilley Road property was more sophisticated than what they typically see. Hallucinogenic mushrooms have an effect similar to LSD and can be eaten or brewed as tea.
Court records indicate that Hiatt had negotiated a plea deal for his charges related to the alleged hallucinogenic mushroom farm, but the guilty-plea hearing was vacated in late 2006 and never took place. In late 2007, Hiatt stopped appearing for his Thurston County Superior Court hearings, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, court papers state.
Chamberlain said it is not uncommon for law enforcement officers to apprehend fugitives while trying to verify personal identification for routine matters, such as traffic stops.
JEREMY PAWLOSKI; STAFF WRITER