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MailTribune.com
  • Suspected psilocybin mushroom grower charged in sex abuse, child porn case

  • A Medford man who was a suspect in a large psilocybin mushroom growing operation is now suspected of abusing a local child.
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  • A Medford man who was a suspect in a large psilocybin mushroom growing operation is now suspected of abusing a local child.
    Ernest Luther Taylor, 37, is currently lodged in the Del Norte County Jail, awaiting extradition back to Jackson County, Medford police said in a news release.
    Last week, the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force found child pornography on an electronic device while conducting a review for evidence tied to the drug case. The evidence linked Taylor to abuse of a local child that allegedly occurred between December 2012 and July 2013, police said.
    "That’s when we really ramped up the investigation,” Medford police Deputy Chief Brett Johnson said.
    Court records show Taylor was indicted on numerous charges stemming from the suspected sex abuse Friday, Aug. 15. He is charged with five counts each of first-degree sex abuse, first-degree sodomy, second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, records show.
    The electronic evidence led investigators from the task force, Medford police and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement to Taylor's home in the 500 block of West Eleventh Street Friday, search warrant in hand. Taylor was not home, but investigators tracked him to Crescent City, Calif. Del Norte County Sheriff's Department detectives found Taylor and arrested him on a warrant at about 3 p.m. Friday. Police didn't provide details on when he will be transported back to Jackson County.
    Taylor was first arrested by police in February following a six-month investigation into a large psilocybin mushroom growing operation, which investigators have said is one of the largest they've uncovered in Jackson County. Police found the mushrooms growing at a storage site in the 7500 block of Highbanks Road, which also served as a processing site for marijuana. Police arrested Taylor on charges of first-degree child neglect, unlawful manufacture and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms, unlawful distribution of marijuana and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. He was later released from the Jackson County Jail after being booked there on $90,000 bail.
    Anyone with information on the child sex abuse case should contact Medford detectives at 541-774-2230.

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