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Published: Friday, 9/21/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Psychedelic-mushroom seizure believed near record

137 pounds, worth $3.1M, in Toledo police custody

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A bucket of mushrooms sits on a table as Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs speaks during a press conference Thursday. A bucket of mushrooms sits on a table as Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs speaks during a press conference Thursday.
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Toledo police have about 137 pounds — an estimated $3.1 million worth of psychedelic mushrooms confiscated when five houses in Toledo and one in Whitehouse were searched this week after police stumbled upon a massive growing operation in East Toledo.

Chief Derrick Diggs said the bust could be the largest-ever mushroom seizure in the state.

The value of the drugs could change once an analysis of the purity of the mushrooms is complete, the chief said.

Toledo police discovered the massive growing operation on Sunday morning after being called to 2454 Woodford St. in East Toledo for a reported burglary. No one was inside the home during the search.

During the investigation, police searched five other properties: 456 Arden Pl., 240 Eastern Ave., 1318 Camden St., 1342 East Broadway St., and 5910 Berkey Southern Rd. in Whitehouse.

Police have said they confiscated evidence from all of the searched locations, but would not say what was taken from each.

Each of the properties is, in some way, connected to Matthew Thierry, 41, of the Whitehouse address.

The Woodford property is owned by Toledo Area Property LLC., which has a Whitehouse post office box.

The same post office box is used for another firm, Greater Metropolitan Title, according to L

ucas County auditor records. That company is listed as the owner of three of the Toledo properties from which evidence was taken. Both firms are owned, at least in part, by Mr. Thierry.

Mr. Thierry is one of three men who was arrested and charged 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 he was arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court.

A police source said officers intended to search all of the properties owned by Mr. Thierry — about 25 in Lucas County — but many were occupied by tenants.

Chief Diggs declined to comment on what other properties, if any others, were searched. He also declined to comment on what role each of the men played in the operation and on how the men knew one another.

Capt. Brad Weis said the grow operation seems to have been in operation for “several years.”

Sgt. Joe Heffernan described the operation as sophisticated.

Because of the massive amount of evidence — enough to fill three large Penske rental trucks — police believe the distribution extends beyond Toledo, although Chief Diggs declined to comment on details of the drugs reach.

The chief did say he was surprised by the amount of mushrooms that were found, given that it's not something that's seen very often, not as often as, say, marijuana or even more hard-core drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

“I didn't think mushrooms were in that type of demand,” the chief said.

The department is working with other law enforcement agencies, but the chief declined to comment on which, and declined to say if the case could be handled on a federal level.



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