Mushroom bust in Hardy

HARDY, AR (KAIT) - For the second time in six months, officers from the Hardy Police Department have a made a mushroom discovery.

I went to Hardy to get a look at the psychedelic fungus.

Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose says both mushroom cases he has dealt with all seem to stem from the Internet.

Rose said people he interviewed at the seizures told him that was their primary source of materials.

Rose, "It was real cheap to buy off the Internet to get the seeds. But there's a whole lot more to it than just planting them."

Based on information garnered by one of his officers

Rose, "One of the patrolman called me and said he had information that there might be a mushroom growing operation in a residence here in town."

Rose said they didn't get a search warrant but took a more subtle approach. "What we call a knock and talk." Rose said. " We just knock and ask for permission and explain the situation to them."

What they found was four plastic tubs with mushrooms growing in them and a plastic container with mature mushrooms. Although normal mushrooms grow in caves or dark growing houses, Rose said these containers were found in a dark corner.

Rose says he believes these are Psilocybin mushrooms, of which there are nearly 190 species. All of which can induce a mind-altering state of euphoria.

I asked Rose if he felt confident that these mushrooms were illegal.

"This particular one we are. But that's the reason there has been no arrests made at this time. We will have these samples taken to the crime lab and have them analyzed to see what exactly it is."

To produce the affects, the mushrooms can be eaten, or smoked or even liquefied.

Rose, "My understanding they used to make it a liquid drink. Mixing it with Kool-Aid or one thing or another."

There is some money to be made in the illegal sale of mushrooms.

Rose, "It's got a street value of approximately Forty dollars for a quarter of an ounce."

This is Chief Rose's second encounter with mushrooms in the past 6 months.

"Two different groups of people. Two different areas of town."

Neither set of mushroom growers were from Hardy. "Not natives of Arkansas." Rose continues, "They are from other states as a matter of fact."

Like with most things all information can be found on the web. Rose said both groups of growers went on-line.

"They have learned most of their stuff about mushrooms off the Internet. And they experimented in it."

Chief Rose said there have been no arrests and will be none until results come back from the crime lab.

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