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Published: Friday, 3/29/2013

Mushroom grower husband gets prison, wife issued probation

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Sara Thierry Sara Thierry
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A Whitehouse man convicted in a large-scale psychedelic mushroom-growing operation was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison while his wife was placed on community control for four years.

Matthew Thierry Matthew Thierry
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Matthew Thierry, 41, who was listed as the owner of the properties raided by police last September, had pleaded guilty last month in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to illegal manufacture of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated trafficking in drugs, and tampering with evidence.

His wife, Sara Thierry, 38, a former Spanish teacher at Bedford High School, pleaded guilty Thursday to tampering with evidence for asking a co-worker of her husband’s to destroy a thumb drive on his computer that prosecutors believed was evidence in the case.

Judge Dean Mandros ordered her to perform 150 hours of community service as part of her probation.

In sentencing Matthew Thierry, Judge Mandros said he was disturbed to read at least one letter in the defendant’s support that suggested there were no victims to his crimes, no harm done.

“These are hallucinogens,” he said. “People take these, they drive a car, they can kill someone.”

Judge Mandros said Matthew Thierry’s crimes were serious and deserved prison.

“This was an organized, structured, thought-out, preplanned, intricately involved criminal enterprise involving hundreds of tubs for growing illegal substances, and it involved multiple locations,” the judge said. “… This was not some trifling offense.”

Sara Thierry’s attorney, Jerome Phillips, said his client had no involvement in the mushroom-growing operation, and a charge of obstructing justice was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

“She sadly has lost everything — her husband who is going to prison, her jobs, everything she accumulated by her hard work,” Mr. Phillips said.

According to Jon White, interim superintendent for Bedford Public Schools, Sara Thierry resigned March 15. She had been on paid leave since her arrest last September.

She also lost her job as a part-time foreign languages instructor at the University of Toledo. She was removed from the classroom after her arrest and terminated Oct. 5, according to UT spokesman Meghan Cunningham.

Four other suspects in the case previously entered guilty pleas to drug charges in the case.

Ian Golbinec, 31, of 6 Hidden Valley Dr. was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, while Autum Johnson, 31, and Mikael Stiles, 32, both of Swanton each was sentenced to five years in prison. Ronald Hammersmith, 44, of 1833 Arlington Ave. is scheduled for sentencing April 4.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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