TYRONE - A Tyrone man accused of growing psychedelic mushrooms now faces more than 100 child pornography charges.
Justin H. Thompson, 26, was arrested Feb. 9 by Tyrone police on domestic assault-related charges. But, by the next morning, the case against Thompson included felony drug counts stemming from what police said was the largest psilocybin mushroom-growing operation in Pennsylvania history.
Thompson's attorney, Thomas M. Dickey, could not be reached for comment Monday.
When local police and state Attorney General's drug agents searched Thompson's Pennsylvania Avenue apartment on Feb. 10 after his then-live-in girlfriend gave her consent, they said they seized truckloads of alleged mushroom-growing equipment, Thompson's computer, three external hard drives and a cellphone.
As Attorney General's agents began digging into the contents of the computer and hard drives in April, a picture of two naked prepubescent girls engaged in a sex act was found, and police sought and obtained a search warrant to look for more suspected child pornography, according to court records.
Thompson, who remains in Blair County Prison awaiting trial, was arraigned Monday by videoconference before Magisterial District Judge Fred B. Miller on 116 child pornography charges as well as one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
According to the latest charges, police completed their search of Thompson's electronics on Aug. 13. In all, 116 pictures depicting child pornography were located in various picture folders under Thompson's name, police noted in his arrest papers.
Miller set additional bail at $200,000 cash, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12 in Tyrone District Court.