'Mushroom' dealer to be interviewed for Teen Challenge

Cary Ashby • May 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM

A convicted "magic mushroom" dealer is interested in participated in a Christian-based substance abuse program.

Heather M. Hodgkinson-Rakosky's defense attorney, James Joel Sitterly, said his client "seemed "receptive" to Teen Challenge when he talked to her last week. Teen Challenge is an intense, Christian-based substance program that lasts 12 to 14 months and is for people of all ages with life-controlling addictions.

"She's very much looking forward to being interviewed for it to see if she's accepted," Sitterly said in court recently.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway rescheduled Hodgkinson-Rakosky's sentencing hearing for today and scheduled her to be interviewed for possible acceptance. Conway warned the woman that placing her in Teen Challenge wasn't a certainty, but was a possibility. A judge can't order a defendant to participate in Teen Challenge as a part of probation since it's faith-based, but can do so only if the person voluntarily expresses interest.

On April 10, a jury found Hodgkinson-Rakosky, 33, of Norwalk, guilty of selling "mushrooms" on three occasions to a confidential informant, a man whom she later dated and lived with. She didn't testify and her attorney didn't present any witnesses during her trial. Hodgkinson-Rakosky had her bond revoked and has been in the Huron County Jail since the trial. (NOTE: To read a story about the trial, click HERE.)

Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin coordinated the controlled buys on Sept. 11, 13 and 17, 2012. All the transactions happened in or just outside a North Street apartment in Monroeville while Querin and another deputy maintained nearby surveillance.

In each buy, the informant was dropped off north of the apartment complex and he paid $30 for 3 grams of psilocybin, which he received in plastic sandwich bags. Psilocybin is a solid hallucinogenic crystalline and the main ingredient in what's known as "magic mushrooms."

The informant told Hodgkinson-Rakosky the drugs were for the same guy and he was buying more because the fictional man enjoyed them so much, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker told jurors during the trial. The informant, who started working for the sheriff's office in June 2012, oversaw about 25 controlled buys in 12 to 18 months. "He worked hard for 12 to 18 months. ... I think there were about nine different defendants," Querin said from the stand.

Recommended for You

    Norwalk Reflector Videos