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Stamford Man Charged With Growing Mushrooms

STAMFORD, Conn. — A Stamford man turned himself in to police Wednesday on charges of growing hallucinogenic mushrooms, Capt. Richard Conklin said.

The investigation dates back to late March . Police were serving Dimitri Taranov, 43, of 15 Stanwick Place, with a warrant for failure to appear or pay an infraction when they found a large amount of marijuana, Conklin said. The Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit then searched the house and found a “sophisticated” hallucinogenic mushroom grow site, he said.

In addition to the plants, Taranov had pressure cookers, humidity gauges, masks, gloves,  800 pounds of rye and other items often found with grow operations, Conklin said.

The suspect had not been on police radar because he only moved to Stamford in 2007 after previously living in New Hampshire and Russia, Conklin said. His only other run-in with the law was a driving-while-intoxicated offense, the captain said.

He was charged with preparing a controlled substance without a license and sale of certain illegal drugs, police said. He was held on a $500,000 bond, Conklin said.

He was originally charged with failure to pay or plead, possession of a controlled substance, and sale of a controlled substance, police said. Taranov had not been charged for growing the mushrooms because the spores were just injected into the rye and no mushrooms were grown at the time, and had to be sent to the state lab for testing before police could be positive, the captain said.

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