Owner of controversial 'Shroom House' shop arrested
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Police in Oregon have arrested the apparent owner of Shroom House, a Portland business, following allegations that the store was illegally selling psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) confirmed.
The arrest comes only days after reports that the business was attracting long lines that stretched down the block.
Photos from witnesses showed several Portland police vehicles parked outside of the shop early Thursday morning, when police say they served a search warrant.
Steven Tachie Jr., a man listed on ownership documents according to the Oregon Secretary of State, was booked into Multnomah County Jail on Thursday morning. He is facing 10 felony counts of laundering of monetary instruments and 10 felony counts of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance.
PPB made three additional arrests, including one suspect who faces the same charges as Tachie, and two others who were issued felony citations for the delivery of psilocybin.
Further, officials confirmed over $13,000 in cash was collected as evidence and 22.1 pounds of psilocybin were seized, including dried fungus and other edibles. PPB says the products field tested presumptive positive for psilocybin, but a sample will be sent to the Oregon State Police crime lab to be confirmed.
The shop typically opens at 10 a.m. but the door remained gated and locked following the earlier raid. The store also appeared to be empty of products that are typically on display.
“I didn’t expect this shutdown to come for a few more weeks,” said Wesley Mahan, the superintendent of the condo building where Shroom House was operated on the ground floor. “When the story broke, the parking disappeared overnight. Lines went around the building a block long and there were zero parking spots left.”
Several disappointed customers came by Thursday morning to find that the store was closed and shelves were empty.
“It sucks that they got raided because it’s natural. I wanted to try and get some shrooms,” said one visitor.
The sale of psilocybin mushrooms in Oregon is illegal.
Confusion over the legality of psilocybin may stem from the passage of Measure 109 in 2020, which effectively created a two-year development period during which Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) has worked to set up systems and processes for the licensing and regulation of psilocybin products and provision of psilocybin services.
But in those cases, the use of psilocybin must be overseen by a licensed therapeutic professional. The state also doesn’t even start accepting applications until next year, meaning there are no licensed facilitators or service centers at this time.
Despite the Oregon Health Authority and police saying sales of psilocybin are illegal, people were still seen lining up outside the store earlier this week.
Those who did buy magic mushrooms were allegedly asked for two forms of identification, prompting concerns from the Better Business Bureau, which warned of possible identity theft and advised Shroom House customers to monitor their accounts.
Anyone with information is urged to e-mail [email protected], attention: NOC, and reference case number 22-324763.