Three people charged so far, more arrests expected soon; protective gear worn due to possible mold, fungus, spores
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Veterans Day was no day off for Central Oregon drug agents who dismantled a large psilocybin mushroom operation in Terrebonne and also raided two related homes in southwest Bend and near Sisters, charging three people initially, with more arrests expected soon.
Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) detectives executed three search warrants around 9:30 a.m. in the 6000 block of Northwest 10th Street in Terrebonne, the 17000 block of Mountain View Road northeast of Sisters and the 61000 block of Linton Loop in Bend, sheriff’s Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said.
The raids followed a lengthy investigation of drug manufacturing and distribution, and were conducted in collaboration with the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement team and the Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit, he said.
The Terrebonne raid turned up “a sizable, complex and illicit active psilocybin incubation facility, grow chamber and packaging center,” Vander Kamp said in a news release.
Psychedelic psilocybin was approved by voters last fall for limited, therapeutic use, but “remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance,” the sergeant noted.
“Indoor mushroom growing can produce airborne mold, fungus and spores attached to clothing and food,” Vander Kamp said in a news release, adding, “It is common knowledge that prolonged exposure to mold and fungus can cause numerous medical conditions, especially in children.“
While dismantling the psilocybin facility, detectives donned protective respirators and clothing to prevent exposure to the airborne mold, fungus and spores. The dismantling, evidence collection and decontamination process took about eight hours.
Detectives collected a “substantial amount” of illegal psilocybin and a firearm from the Terrebonne facility, Vander Kamp said.
At the home on Linton Loop in Bend’s Sagewood neighborhood, detectives found a commercial quantity of processed psilocybin and cannabis, along with related manufacturing paraphernalia. Two AR-style rifles, a pistol and “a large sum of cash” also were seized, Vander Kamp said.
A man and woman, both 36, were cited and released at the scene on charges of processing felony amounts of processed marijuana, illegal possession and manufacturing of psilocybin and endangering the welfare of a minor.
The home also was occupied by the suspects’ minor children, who detectives determined had been exposed to the psilocybin manufacturing process and storage in the home. Vander Kamp said Oregon DHS Child Welfare workers were on the scene to care for the children and arrange for a safety plan with the family, the sergeant said.
At the Sisters-area home in Squaw Creek Canyon, detectives contacted and charged a 48-year-old man who allegedly is part of the psilocybin organization, Vander Kamp said. Detectives found and seized “a sizable cache of processed marijuana and currency,” he said.
The man was cited and released at the scene on charges of processing felony amounts of processed marijuana and unlawful manufacture of marijuana.