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Pasco deputies uncover two mushroom drug labs

PORT RICHEY — Two mushroom drug labs were busted Wednesday by sheriff's deputies. The cleanup of the labs and the investigation is estimated to cost about $50,000.

The first lab was found at 8852 Chilton Drive, said Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll. Detectives found a hidden lab used to extract a strong hallucinogen, called psilocybin, from certain types of mushrooms. The lab was deemed hazardous by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, who were called to break down the lab and collect evidence.

Charges related to the lab are pending against resident 43-year-old Gerald Hannafin Jr. because the investigation is ongoing, Doll said. However, he said Hannafin was charged with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from three previous hand-to-hand buys.

Detectives also went to the home of Hannafin's father, Gerald Hannafin Sr., 67, 5412 Charles St. in New Port Richey, where they found another mushroom lab.

DEA agents responded and processed that lab, too. Hannafin Sr. has not yet been charged with any offenses, but Doll said a large amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia was found in the home.

Doll said more than 2,300 mushroom plants were grown in the homes inside Mason jars. Detectives also found psilocybin that had already been extracted.

He said deputies called the Charles Street home a "superlab."

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Pasco deputies uncover two mushroom drug labs 04/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 16, 2010 6:08pm]
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