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Published: Wednesday, 9/19/2012

At least one more site scoured for mushrooms

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo police on Tuesday searched at least one more location connected to a massive psilocybin mushroom-growing operation.

Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said he could not say how many locations were searched or where the search, or searches, were taking place. He also could not comment on what led police to the new information, only that "there was another development."

Sergeant Heffernan said police intend to host a press conference this afternoon to share more details of the searches and operation.

Three men were arrested on Sunday after the initial grow operation was found inside an East Toledo home at 2454 Woodford Dr. Police were called to the house at 4 a.m. for a reported breaking and entering.

Police found no burglars, but did find drugs and other evidence, police have said.

The Woodford property is owned by Toledo Area Property, LLC., which has a Whitehouse, Ohio, P.O. Box. The same P.O. Box is used for another company, Greater Metropolitan Title, according to Lucas County Auditor records. That company is listed as the owner of three other properties from which evidence was taken.

"That's how we learned this stuff is connected," Sergeant Heffernan said.

Searched properties include: 456 Arden Pl., 240 Eastern Ave., and 1318 Camden St.

Both companies are owned, at least in part, by Matthew Thierry, 41, of 5910 Berkey Southern, Whitehouse. Mr. Thierry is one of three men who was charged and arrested on Sunday. He is charged with illegal manufacturing, possession of drugs, trafficking in drugs, and tampering with evidence.

His bond was set at $50,000; his wife, Sara Thierry, posted a cash bond on Monday after Mr. Thierry was arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court.

There are 25 Lucas County properties listed under Greater Metropolitan Title's ownership in Lucas County Auditor records; the Woodford address is the only property listed with Toledo Area Property, LLC, as an owner. Mr. Thierry also owns a property on East Broadway Street. He and his wife are listed as owners of the Whitehouse property.

Also charged were Mikael Stiles, 31, of 5360 Secor Rd., who is charged with illegal manufacturing, possession of drugs, and trafficking in drugs. His bond was also set at $50,000; on Monday he posted a surety bond in the full amount and was released from the Lucas County jail.

On Tuesday, Ian Golbinec, 31, of 240 Eastern, was still in the jail in lieu of $50,000 bond on charges of illegal manufacturing, possession of drugs, trafficking in drugs, and tampering with evidence.

At the media briefing today, police expect to know more about the quantity of drugs confiscated. The searches on Sunday yielded three large Penske rental trucks full of evidence that officers spent hours sorting through.

The evidence was being held at an off-site location.

"You don't usually hear a lot about drug operations from us because it takes time," Sergeant Heffernan said. "There's a lot of case building that goes on in a drug operation and one thing leads to another to another to another to another. And this situation was a little unusual because of the quantities of stuff that we seized, but as in a lot of drug investigations, there's not a lot I can tell you because it's still building."

It was unclear on Tuesday how wide the operation's distribution was, although police expect to make some sort of comment about the scope today.

Sergeant Heffernan did say the psilocybin mushrooms, a hallucinogen, are not widely used in Toledo. The drug is typically ingested by the user, but can be pureed as a drink or used like chewing tobacco, Sergeant Heffernan said.



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