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Man charged with growing psychedelic mushrooms at Hempfield Towers

Paul Peirce
| Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, 10:56 a.m.
David W. Kalb, 41, was arrested on drug charges Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.
Westmoreland County Prison
David W. Kalb, 41, was arrested on drug charges Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

A tenant at a Westmoreland County Housing Authority complex in Hempfield was arrested Monday after state troopers discovered a psychedelic mushroom manufacturing operation in his apartment.

Trooper Ryan Marmol reported that police were called for a report of a disturbance at the residence of David W. Kalb, 41, at Hempfield Towers on South Grande Boulevard about 6:40 p.m.

When troopers arrived, they met Kalb, who was involved in the disturbance.

“Kalb opened the door to his apartment and invited (Marmol) in. ... In plain view, I observed a small amount of marijuana, 70 mushroom plants and 10 mason jars containing active ingredients to manufacture psychedelic mushrooms,” Marmol wrote in a police report.

Kalb was arraigned on charges of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, as well as possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Executive Director Michael L. Washowich said the housing authority intends to evict Kalb from the public housing facility south of Greensburg.

“I can tell you eviction proceedings will begin immediately. Those type of illegal activities will not be tolerated and are definitely in violation of the lease agreement,” Washowich said.

A state police spokesman, Trooper Stephen Limani, said the distribution of psychedelic mushrooms is uncommon in the region.

“It's extremely rare,” said the 17-year state police veteran.

Kalb was ordered by Unity District Judge Michael Mahady to be held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $10,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 15 before Youngwood District Judge James Falcon.

Paul Peirce is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at ppeirce@tribweb.com or 724-850-2860.

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