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Drug haul Ben Anderson and Erika Karlsson Wednesday, 14 July 2004
DONNYBROOK police have seized nearly 10 kilograms of magic mushroom in the past six weeks.
On the first court date in Donnybrook since the mushroom season began, seven people were charged with possessing psilocybe, commonly known as magic mushrooms.
Magistrate Steve Wilson said more and more people each year were travelling to Balingup to pick the fungus.
Since the season began, 18 lots of the hallucinogenic fungus, totalling 9.725 kilograms, have been seized by police.
Mr Wilson said the list of people charged with possessing the mushrooms grew longer each year and there didn't appear to be a slowing down in people making a pilgrimage to pick them.
James Robert Halliday (19) of Kelmscott, Samuel Williams (18) of Augusta, Glen Timothy Steven (21) of Mount Barker, Lee Raymond Parsons (20) of Norrikup, and Kirsty Louise Turner (18), of Glendalough, pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited drug.
Halliday was observed by police entering the pine plantation off Jayes Road, Balingup, at 4.35pm on May 29.
He was found to have a plastic bag containing 1.1 kilograms of mushrooms.
Williams was stopped by police in Ferndale Forest at 4.14pm on June 20 with 147 grams of mushrooms.
Steven and Parsons were stopped by police on June 6 in Balingup and 521 grams of mushrooms were seized.
Turner was observed by police in the the pine plantation on Jayes Road at 12.15pm on June 5 with a plastic bag containing 107 grams of mushrooms.
Danielle Edwards Miller (18) of Applecross, entered an endorsed plea of guilty to possessing 21 grams of mushrooms.
All were fined $400.
Colby Matthew Bertram (18), of Armadale, pleaded not guilty to possessing a prohibited drug.
He was remanded to reappear on November 18.
Another two men pleaded guilty in the Bridgetown Court of Petty Sessions on Wednesday, June 23 to possessing a prohibited drug.
Chad Zark Ostrowski (21) of Tipping Street, Bunbury, was fined $400.
His vehicle was stopped by police after it was seen leaving an area known to contain the mushrooms.
Police searched the vehicle and found 300 grams concealed in a guitar amplifier on the back seat of the car.
Ostrowski said he had never tried the mushrooms before and that was why he had picked them.
This earned a stern rebuke from Mr Wilson regarding the potentially lethal side effects of consuming the drug, not only for himself but for others if he performed tasks like driving while under the influence.
Luke Symons, 21, of Goomarl Street Dudley Park entered an endorsed plea of guilty and was fined $400.
Six of the people charged with possessing mushrooms asked for spent convictions, which Mr Wilson refused.
"Convictions should be a matter of record, with all the consequences," he said.
"A spent conviction does nothing to deter people."