By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
Three Dickens Hill residents face multiple charges following the discovery of psychedelic, psilocybin mushrooms growing in a farm shed.
Josh Gamberella, Angel Gamberella and Josh's mother, Donna Kim Falkenback Presson, were all charged with manufacture/sale/delivery of a Schedule I controlled substance, simple possession of a Schedule IV substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Making the arrests was Inspector Chris Brown of the Cannon County Sheriff's Department.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms. Psilocybin has mind-altering effects similar, in some aspects, to those of LSD and mescaline. In general, the effects include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception and a distorted sense of time.
Following a tip, Inspector Brown applied for a search warrant for the Dickens Hill address including all vehicles, outbuildings, cellular phones and persons.
"During the search of the residence a pill bottle belonging to Joshua Gamberella was found which was turned into a pipe and also a Dr. Thunder can which was turned into a pipe. Both of these items were found in the master bedroom of the residence," Brown reported.
No illegal items were discovered in Presson's residence on the same property.
The search then turned to the a shed outside the home.
"The shed was locked and we were going to cut the lock off when Josh's mother, Donna Kim Falkenback Presson, advised she had the key for it," Brown said.
A mushroom grow operation was found inside the shed.
"It appeared to have been moved from somewhere else and stored in the shed, as all of the items were thrown into totes and boxes. There was a clear plastic tote, blue plastic tote, a black vinyl bag and brown cardboard boxes, all with drug related items in them," the investigator reported.
Angel Gamberella allowed officers to search her phone.
"On the phone several apps were found for growing mushrooms, as well as photos of mushrooms that had been grown," Brown said.
Both Angel Marie Gamberella and Donna Kim Fallenback Presson were taken into custody and transported to the Cannon County Jail, where Joshua Gamberella was already being held.
Presson denied any knowledge of the mushrooms.
Both Gamberellas denied using the mushrooms, saying they were just an experiment trying to grow them.