Three men were arrested Friday after a search turned upmore than 250 pounds of psychedelic mushrooms and $30,000 in cash in Brooklyn, officials said.
“This investigation exposed and dismantled a massive psychedelic mushroom grow house, keeping hundreds of pounds of this illegal and dangerous drug off the streets, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.
Vitali Yaromin, 50, and Maksym Lyushnenko, 47, both of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and Nikita Medvedev, 26, of Staten Island were awaiting arraignment Friday on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison on the top count.
An investigation by the DEA’s New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, led to local search warrants executed at a private house on East 13th Street in Sheepshead Bay. There, detectives seized more than 200 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, or psychedelic mushrooms, more than $30,000 in cash, more than 300 gift cards, one ounce of marijuana and bank records, officials said.
Through a warrant executed at a second location at a private house on East 11th Street in Sheepshead Bay, more than 50 pounds of psychedelic mushrooms, $400 cash and a 2007 Lexus 350 SUV were seized. In total all of the seized psychedelic mushrooms have a street value of nearly $2 million, officials said.
“These individuals grew mind-altering mushrooms right in our own backyard of Brooklyn. At a few hundred dollars an ounce, this was no small business. But they were hallucinating on their own product if they had thought they could hide from the law,” said Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Angel M. Melendez.