Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mushroom Vendor Busted After Using Neighbor’s Return Address

The National Police arrested a Dutch woman for cultivating and distributing psychedelic mushrooms through darknet marketplaces. Police began investigating the woman in February when a package returned to sender—but like many vendors before her, the package returned to the wrong “sender.”

In this case, the returned package really struck close to home. One of her neighbors received a “mysterious parcel” that contained an envelope stuffed full of psychedelic mushrooms. The neighbor’s address appeared as the sender’s address and after finding this suspicious, the recipient contacted local authorities. She called 091 and summoned an officer. Once he arrived and examined the situation, he contacted additional investigators.

He believed the mushrooms were psychedelic and therefore in an illegal mushroom category. He, along with other agents in the scene that made identification attempts, explained to the woman that the package became part of a drug investigation. She needed to yield any and all evidence to the authorities, they told her. Upon bringing the evidence to the proper officials, agents received the task of catching the vendor. Despite lacking information beyond a package of mushrooms, investigators gathered a fairly clear picture of what occurred.

The National Police official stated that upon confirmation that the mushrooms were illegal, the case began. They focused on finding the physical origin of the vendor. According to the announcement, law enforcement quickly discovered the perpetrator. Officers spotted a woman that made daily shipments. Each shipment, upon a brief inspection, used identical packaging. And then once opened, the packages contained illegal mushrooms of the same variety.

Authorities focused the investigation on the new suspect and again—quickly—gained enough evidence for a warrant. They executed the warrant and entered her home. A search yielded 500 grams of psychedelic mushrooms in different stages of growth. Officers additionally found “28 containers of seeds,” scales, and packaging material. The police then arrested the woman with more than enough supporting evidence.

After her arrest, investigators unveiled that the woman routinely ordered “seeds” from a source in Holland. She grew the mushrooms and distributed them once fully prepared. From there, they said, she shipped the mushrooms internationally after establishing contact with buyers worldwide. She found buyers on darknet marketplaces and forums—and most sales came from France, USA, and Australia. She profited 50 Euros ($53 dollars) per shipment.

Law enforcement announced, on March 14, that officials charged her of one crime: committing a crime against public health. She currently sits in a cell pending her upcoming hearing.