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Published: Tuesday, 2/5/2013

2 Lucas Co. residents plead guilty to mushroom charges

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two Lucas County residents arrested after the seizure of an estimated $3.1 million in psychedelic mushrooms pleaded guilty Monday to their roles in the operation.

Autum Johnson, 31, of 543 Colburn St. pleaded guilty before Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandros to illegal manufacture of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated trafficking in drugs, and tampering with evidence.

Johnson, who faces up to 33 years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 21, admitted not only to the drug charges but to contacting a co-defendant after police searched a property and told him to get rid of the mushrooms.

Also Monday, Mickael Stiles, 32, of 5360 Secor Rd. pleaded guilty to illegal manufacture of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, and aggravated trafficking in drugs — charges that carry a maximum of 30 years in prison. His sentencing was set for March 21.

Judge Mandros told both defendants that while they would not be sentenced to the maximum prison term, they would be going to prison because of mandatory sentences required by law.

Both face a minimum of three years in prison, said Jennifer Liptack-Wilson, an assistant county prosecutor.

As part of the plea agreements with Johnson, Stiles, and Ian Golbinec, who pleaded guilty to the same charges last month, prosecutors will not recommend specific sentences, she said.

Golbinec, 31, of 240 Eastern Ave. is to be sentenced March 7, while cases still are pending against Ronald Hammersmith, 44, of 5768 Home Lane, and Matthew Thierry, 41, and his wife, Sara Thierry, 38, both of Whitehouse.

All six were indicted on drug charges after police searched five Toledo houses and one in Whitehouse in September and seized nearly 137 pounds of psychedelic mushrooms. At the time, Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs said the bust might have been Ohio’s largest-ever seizure of mushrooms.

“It was an extensive mushroom growing, cultivation, and selling operation,” Ms. Liptack-Wilson said after the hearings Monday.



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