Man allegedly tried to pass off illegal mushrooms as "gourmet" during execution of search warrant

Three felony charges were filed on Jan. 6, nearly three weeks after the mushrooms were reportedly found.

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COTTONWOOD COUNTY — Three counts of fourth-degree felony drug sale were filed against Lakefield resident John Spillman, 33, for allegedly cultivating mixtures containing psilocybin or psilocyn, a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

On Dec. 12, a Mountain Lake police officer was informed by a reporting party that mushrooms were being grown in a closet at a Mountain Lake residence. The reporting party supplied the officer with photographic evidence of glass jars described as containing black and gray looking sand. The reporting party believed the jars were being used to grow “magic mushrooms” because of a conversation reportedly overheard between Spillman and his girlfriend.

A warrant to search the residence was granted and executed the next day by law enforcement. Spillman reportedly told one officer he was growing “gourmet mushrooms” that he ate and gave to co-workers. Law enforcement located several mason jars of soil, plastic containers with white moldy substance, and materials used for plant cultivation in a basement storage room. The jars were labeled with various common names for psilocybin mushrooms.

According to the report, law enforcement recovered 35 mason jars with suspected psilocybin mushrooms growing in them and 46 plastic containers of white moldy substance. Eleven syringes and plastic bags labeled “For Microscopy Use Only” were also located. Seven of the syringes contained clear solutions and some were labeled as "psilocybe cubenis."

Also found during the search were various paraphernalia items and apparent marijuana plant seeds as well as some packages containing stickers of cartoon characters and stickers with vendor logos on them, all addressed to Spillman. Packages contained swabs reportedly labeled as spore samples were also located.


In Spillman's bedroom, two notebooks were recovered containing several names of different spore samples, names of possible suppliers, and what appeared to be a recipe.

If convicted, Spillman faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine for each of the three felony drug charges. Spillman was issued a summons to appear in court on Jan. 25.

Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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