State Park Visitors Busted for Shroom and Alligator Theft
Looting magic mushrooms and a two-foot live gator from a Florida park lands five nature hikers in jail.
The old outdoorsman's adage "take only photos, leave only footprints" was evidently ignored by the five people who stole dozens of psychedelic mushrooms and a two-foot live alligator from a Florida state forest. This spring there has reportedly been a rich harvest of "magic" mushrooms, which contain psychedelic psilocybin and grow naturally in the woods. “With heavy rains, really increased humidity, they grow very prolifically,” says park officer Steve McDaniel. He arrested Rick Daniel Myers on drugs charges and for possessing an alligator, which was wrapped in a bandana in his backpack. The other four members of the party were also detained for harvesting the illicit fungi, which is classified in the same drug category as heroin and cocaine. “Shrooms similar to the ones found in this forest can cost you up to $200 an ounce on the street,” explains TV reporter Tim Barber. As for the gator, “it looked pretty lifeless," says McDaniel, "It was in a black backpack, the guy was wearing it for several hours in the heat." But wildlife officials said the alligator was released back into the wild and will be fine. Lui Delgado, clinical director of a local addiction center, warned that shrooms and alligators are a potentially hazardous combination: “anytime you are in an altered state, some things can happen."