BU Student, Ex Student Charged In Sophisticated Campus-Area Drug Operation

Larry Lee Maldonado II (Jail photo)
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WACO (April 25, 2013)-A Baylor University student and a former Baylor student were held Thursday in the McLennan County Jail, charged in connection with the discovery of a hallucinogenic mushroom-growing operation near campus last month.

Larry Lee Maldonado II, 21, was ordered held on $20,000 bond charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, according to the McLennan County Jail roster.

Maldonado last attended Baylor in the fall of 2012.

Quinton James Porter, 21, was booked into the jail on the same charge but Wednesday posted a $25,000 bond and was released.

Porter is a junior mechanical engineering major from Victoria, the university said.

McLennan County Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon said Maldonado and Porter were arrested Wednesday on warrants issued in connection with the March 28 discovery of what deputies called a sophisticated growing operation at an apartment near the Baylor campus.

Sheriff's office Capt. Shawn Lippe, in a news release issued Thursday afternoon, said Porter and Maldonado were roommates.

Deputies went to the apartment late March 28 night to serve a misdemeanor arrest warrant and when they knocked on the door smelled a strong odor of what they believed was marijuana, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.

Deputies at the scene requested help from the department's Organized Crime Unit, secured the scene and arrested one man who was at the apartment on the misdemeanor warrant.

OCU deputies obtained a search warrant and began an inventory of items found inside the apartment, which included high-grade marijuana, mushrooms, liquid codeine, pills believed to be Ecstasy, a growing system for mushrooms, $9,100 in U.S. currency, a loaded .40-caliber handgun and a loaded MAC 10 semi-automatic pistol.

McNamara said deputies believe the operation was targeting Baylor students for distribution.

One OCU deputy told News 10 this is the first time he has encountered a mushroom growing operation.

Authorities wouldn't disclose the exact location of the apartment.