Man claims mushrooms were for research

Mar. 04, 2013 @ 06:52 PM

A Durham man pleaded guilty Monday in Durham County Superior Court to manufacturing Schedule I drugs for growing hallucinogenic mushrooms at his apartment.

In May 2011, Durham police received information from the Burlington Police Department about an address in Durham where someone might be growing hallucinogenic mushrooms, said Assistant District Attorney Josephine Kerr.

Police located Andrew Gene Lindberg, 24, and he told them he grew mushrooms in his apartment and had other drugs there as well, Kerr said. He told them exactly where they would find the items.

Police searched his home on Spring Meadow Drive off Barbee Road and found 23.4 grams of dried mushrooms on his nightstand and another 87.4 grams of dried mushrooms in another area of his apartment, Kerr said.

Police also found 1.3 grams of marijuana and two Schedule II pills, including Diazepam. They also found a white crystal substance that they thought was MDMA, but it turned out to be bath salts, which were not illegal then but have since become illegal in North Carolina. Bath salts is the street name for a designer drug that has effects similar to cocaine and amphetamines.

Lindberg’s attorney, David Remington of Alamance County, said Lindberg, who graduated from UNC with a degree in sociology, bought the mushroom spores legally online.

When a person buys mushroom spores online, it states they are only being sold for research, but no one ever follows up to determine how the buyer is using them, Remington said.

Lindberg had done extensive research on the mushrooms, he said.

Studies have shown a single dose of the Psilocybin mushrooms can give a person six months of relief for depression, Remington said.

The two pills were on hand to bring the person down if they had a bad experience on the hallucinogenic mushroom, Remington said.

Remington said the Burlington police did a great job of bullying Lindberg into letting them search his car despite Lindberg’s education and intellect.

Remington asked Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson to give Lindberg a prayer for judgment continued, and Kerr objected saying Lindberg should be given at least a suspended sentence and placed on probation.

Hudson granted the request for a prayer for judgment continued saying that Lindberg has 45 days to pay costs.

Lindberg is still facing a charge for a similar offense in Alamance County, Remington said.