Man charged with possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD

Published 3:57 pm Monday, June 12, 2017

A Carter County man faces multiple charges after police say they found nearly 40 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms and more than 20 firearms in a storage unit rented by the man.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Elizabethton Police Department arrested John Paul Oliver, 28, of 131 Captain Ave., Apt. 3, Elizabethton, on Friday afternoon and charged him with two counts of possession of Schedule I drugs for resale and possession of a firearm during the commission or attempt to commit a dangerous felony.
According to a statement released jointly by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Elizabethton Police Department, around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, officers from both agencies conducted a search of a storage unit at the Sycamore Street annex of USA Storage in Elizabethton. The search was part of an investigation by the Joint Counter-Narcotics Task Force which was created by the two agencies.
In the statement, officials said officers located 38 bags and three jars of hallucinogenic (Psilocybin) mushrooms with a total weight of close to 40 pounds. Officers also found 22 firearms, several sheets of paper containing individual doses of LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide, also commonly known under the street name “acid”), components of an indoor hallucinogenic mushroom grow and drying operation, and a quantity of a prescription medication.
According to court documents, the joint investigation by the Task Force began after EPD Capt. Patrick White received information that the storage unit was being utilized by Oliver to store drugs and firearms.
While officers were searching the storage unit, Oliver arrived at the storage facility and was accompanied by a juvenile female, who was driving Oliver’s vehicle according to court documents. The juvenile was turned over to the custody of her parents and officers placed Oliver under arrest. When officers searched the car, they discovered more firearms, according to court records.
On Monday morning, Oliver appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court to be arraigned on the charges against him.
Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Oliver.
Assistant Public Defender Dwayne Fortner asked Bowers to reduce Oliver’s bond from the $30,000 it was initially set at to $5,000.
Bowers reviewed the warrant outlining the charges against Oliver. “This is a serious case,” Bowers said. “Thirty-seven pounds is the allegation on the mushrooms. He had 22 firearms in a storage facility.”
Bowers asked the State for their position on a bond reduction, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hill said the state would oppose reducing the bond.
“Your Honor, I’ve been here almost 23 years, and that’s a record for this county,” Hill said regarding the amount of hallucinogenic mushrooms police reported finding in the storage unit.
Bowers left Oliver’s bond unchanged at $30,000 and scheduled Oliver to return to court on Monday, June 19, for a preliminary hearing in the case.
Around 12:30 p.m., Oliver was released from the Carter County Detention Center after posting the $30,000 bond through a professional bail bonding agency.

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