The largest-known psilocybin mushroom operation in Jackson County was busted Tuesday after a Medford man was arrested for allegedly growing the illegal drug at a Central Point warehouse, police said.
Ernest Luther Taylor, 37, of the 500 block of West 11th Street, was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of distribution, manufacture and possession of psilocybin mushrooms, distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and first-degree child neglect, police said.
He was later released, jail records show
Following a six-month investigation into the growing and distribution of illegal mushrooms, Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement officers served warrants at about 9 a.m. Tuesday at Taylor's home and a warehouse in the 7500 block of Highbanks Road, said MADGE Lt. Kevin Walruff.
"It's probably one of the biggest mushroom grows that we have seen ... in Jackson County. It's definitely the largest we have seen. We have had some larger up in Josephine County," Walruff said.
"(Taylor) had an area that he had enclosed inside this warehouse that had four rooms where he was growing them in different stages. ... He was renting it out and using it for this."
Walruff said he wasn't certain of the quantity of mushrooms the operation was capable of producing, but police are still investigating.
He said an anonymous tip from a resident led police to Taylor, who also appeared to be processing marijuana at the warehouse.
"We could see in there where he had taken (marijuana) product and transferred it from package to package," Walruff said.
At Taylor's home police found "similar items ... but it wasn't nearly as much as we found at the warehouse," Walruff said.