Adam Kokesh charged with possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms

Washington Post – by Trishula Patel and Justin Jouvenal

Police searched the Northern Virginia home of activist Adam Kokesh Tuesday evening and took him into custody on a charge of being in possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms while also having a gun, authorities said.

Kokesh, a former Marine, was held overnight at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs while in possession of a firearm, said Lt. Steve Elbert, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office.  

Kokesh refused to be fingerprinted or arraigned, or to speak with court officials on Wednesday morning, said Nancy Lake, Clerk of the Fairfax County General District Court.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 2.

“We were expecting this. We were expecting the government to raid our house,” Darrell Young, Kokesh’s roommate, told WRC-TV (Channel 4).

U.S. Park Police Lt. Pamela Smith said her agency executed a search warrant at Kokesh’s home in Herndon about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, looking for a weapon. The park police are the federal agency responsible for policing Freedom Plaza, the concrete park a few blocks from the White House where — in a video posted to YouTube on July 4 — Kokesh appears to load a shotgun in violation of D.C. gun laws.

Smith said she did not know if the YouTube video was the reason for the search warrant. Carrying a loaded weapon, concealed or unconcealed, is against the law in the District. The possession of a firearm not registered in the District carries a penalty up to a year in prison.

“We will not be silent. We will not obey,” Kokesh says in the video. “We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity. We are the final American Revolution. See you next Independence Day.”

Herndon police assisted in the search, a communications technician from the department said. But she declined to provide details.

According to a news release posted on Kokesh’s Web site, police in cars and helicopters approached Kokesh’s house in Herndon, a suburb 25 miles west of Washington, about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday and staged an “armed invasion.” The house is in the 1500 block of Snow Flake Court.

Kokesh’s five roommates provided the following account of the raid to the Washington Post. Park police could not be immediately reached for comment, and the details could not be independently verified.

After police knocked on the front door of the single-family home, the roommates said, officers kicked it in and threw a flash bang grenade inside.

They said some of the roommates headed for a back door, only to find members of a U.S. Park Police SWAT team pointing guns at them. The roommates said more than one police helicopter circled over or near the house during the search.

At least five people inside were handcuffed as officers spent about five hours combing through the house, they said.

A roommate who saw the search warrant said police were looking for the shotgun Kokesh allegedly used in a July 4th video and materials related to the creation of the video. The roommates said officers removed the shotgun, files and a some unknown items that were taken from a safe that police drilled open.

One roommate, Ed Yealey, said he was punched in the back of the head by an officer.

They estimated 30 to 40 officers participated in the raid, and said that clothes were dumped in the center of one bedroom and a mattress was pushed up against the wall.

“It was a pure act of intimidation,” said one roommate, who would only give his name as Jeremy.

The roommates spoke in a basement studio where they work on a podcast and web videos called “Adam Vs. The Man.” They said they have about 75,000 subscribers on YouTube. A sign that said “Anarchy Ave.” hung over a flat screen TV in the studio.

One of the roommates had a handgun strapped in a holster as he talked, but all said they believe in non-aggression and that Kokesh’s views have been misrepresented in the media.

They described themselves as voluntaryist, a strain of libertarianism that believes all acts — such as paying taxes or gun restrictions — should be voluntary.

Charging documents filed in court Wednesday morning said Kokesh was charged with possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, a Schedule I narcotic, while possessing a firearm. Possession of Schedule I or II drugs is a felony in Virginia, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $2,500 fine. If convicted of possession of the drugs while also in possession of a firearm, Kokesh would face an additional minimum of two years in prison.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh said prosecutors could potentially obtain a court order compelling Kokesh to be arraigned if he continues to be uncooperative with authorities.

Kokesh, an Iraq war veteran and Internet talk show, host unveiled plans in early May tolead an armed “Open Carry March” into the District on July 4. He described the proposed event, in which he said participants would carry loaded guns across the Memorial Bridge from Arlington into Washington, as an act of civil disobedience against “tyranny.”

But the march was canceled after police said they would enforce D.C.’s strict gun laws, which prohibit the carrying of loaded weapons.

Instead, apparently, the video of Kokesh loading what looked like a shotgun was posted on YouTube on the July 4 holiday.

In an e-mail exchange with a Washington Post reporter on Friday, Lucas Jewell, the manager of Kokesh’s Internet talk show, confirmed that the video was shot on the morning of July 4 in Freedom Plaza, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 13th and 14th streets, about a block north of the National Mall.

When asked if the gun and the ammunition were real, and whether Kokesh shot the film alone or with the assistance of himself or others, Jewell declined to answer.

“For legal reasons I probably shouldn’t say if it was a real shotgun,” Jewell wrote in an e-mail. “But I have to say, it looked pretty real to me. I’m no firearms expert, but when he loaded those shells it looked and sounded very similar to a mossburg.” Jewell was most likely referring to a Mossberg pump-action shotgun.

In six years of headline-grabbing activism, Kokesh has embraced causes including peace in Iraq, free speech in the United States and the unsuccessful 2012 presidential candidacy of Ron Paul. He has invoked Mahatma Gandhi and the First Amendment, and he’s used both dancing and loaded weapons to make his political points.

“We will continue to spread the message of liberty, self ownership, and the non-aggression principle regardless of the government’s relentless attacks on our operation,” a statement posted on Kokesh’s Web site on Wednesday morning said.

“We will continue to combat its desperate attempts to crush a worldwide, revolutionary shift in the people’s understanding of the state’s illegitimacy — after all, good ideas don’t require force.”

In 2007, Kokesh was arrested at the Hart Senate Office Building wearing a T-shirt that read, “Iraq veterans against the war.” He was arrested again in 2011 when he led a group dance party at the Jefferson Memorial. He has gotten into trouble for protesting in a Marine uniform and for taking a souvenir gun home from the battlefield.


William Branigin, Aaron Davis, Peter Hermann, and Martin Weil contributed to this report.


6 thoughts on “Adam Kokesh charged with possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms

  1. What is that law?…….Gun owning while having shroons? WTF..?

    NO im not defending this dip stick…but what TF?

  2. We’ll see what ends up happening to Kokesh.

    Personally, I don’t trust him. Even if he’s not some kind of COINTELPRO operative, he’s dangerous for the movement.

    Let’s face it. The worst nightmare for the average person would be a “gun nut” on hallucinogenic drugs.

    And THIS is the guy that was going to lead the “Armed March” on DC.

    His daddy’s $45 million SEC case has been stalled without a finding for 5 years now. It’s in the hands of the Obama “Justice Department”. Could Adam be doing this to try to save daddy’s millions? Do ya think he might be personally invested in daddy keeping his millions?

    Where does Adam get all his money to travel all over the place, doing drugs? He obviously also spends a lot of time in the gym (and $ on steroids too).

    I never forget that Adam always “dissed” people who questioned 911. Not a good sign at all.

    He’s the poster child for dangerous behavior to the average sheep.

  3. Personally, I feel the Obama administration could put him in indefinite detention but that would hurt his push towards gun confiscation. If they make this douchbag Kokesh a hero, it would hurt their cause. Oh, and I really like the roommate’s comment, “We were expecting this”, so either the mushrooms were “planted” by the Feds or these guys are incredibly stupid. Adam Kokesh is not doing our fight any favors and I hope they keep him in custody until the fight is over.

    1. Millard did you ever see any of his vids? that boy was F’d from the word go…always high and acting stupid on camera…..before the public vids were shown….
      Its amazing anyone would even think of following this guy.

  4. I don’t think there is much chance of him becoming a hero, as shown by all of the people that went to DC or their own capitals on 4th of July.
    They want him to be the face of Gun control. I wonder if he realizes how expendable he is?

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