DMT Lab Discovered in Brentwood, California During Robbery Raid

Multiple suspects face numerous charges for alleged burglary, grand theft, manufacturing and possessing a controlled substance, and child endangerment.

Detectives in Walnut Creek, California investigated a man and woman suspected of robbing a liquor store, and stumbled on a fully-functioning DMT lab at their home nearby in Brentwood. Police say that some of the suspects allegedly used explosive materials in the presence of a child to extract and synthesize DMT.

Danielle Kumerow, 42, and Maxwell Hayworth, 44, allegedly entered Hops and Scotch, a Walnut Creek-based liquor store, and robbed them for $50,000 to $60,000 worth of alcohol, in bottles. Walnut Creek, where the liquor store was located, is known for its upscale shopping. The liquor store robbery took place on March 23, at about 12:10 a.m., and video footage shows a man and woman loading bottles of liquor into a Nissan Frontier after cutting a hole into the wall, authorities said. They rented the Frontier ahead of the crime that took place, police said.

The Mercury News reports “the pair became suspects when a rental car used in the break-in was linked back to Kumerow, court records show. But when police showed up to their home on Shasta Daisy Lane in Brentwood, they were surprised to discover lab equipment associated with the psychedelic drug DMT, authorities said.”

CBS News reports that authorities say they found three containers of an explosive compound used in the process to make DMT. Upon learning about a possibly explosive compound, The Walnut Creek Police Department bomb squad was called in and determined that the compound in the containers was triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which is a highly volatile explosive. DMT makers use TATP because it can be easily manufactured from readily accessible reagents and is extremely difficult to detect due to its  lack of UV absorbance, fluorescence, or facile ionization. 

The area in Brentwood was evacuated for safety as crews moved the containers of TATP to another location for detonation, while one container had to be detonated in place. All the detonations reportedly went safely.

Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office announced the operation last month. On the morning of March 26, detectives served a search warrant at a residence in the 800 block of Shasta Daisy Drive.

Johnathan McCarthy, 29, was also arrested and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on an outstanding warrant for being a parolee at large, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Court records show that both suspects, Kumerow and Hayworth, are facing charges of alleged burglary, grand theft, manufacturing and possessing a controlled substance, and child endangerment. 

One of the suspects walked free after posting bail. Hayworth remains in jail with his bail set at $380,000, but Kumerow posted $250,000 bail and is a free woman while the case is pending. Both are due in court for their next hearing on May 13.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office announced that they’d be open to tips about the alleged crimes that took place in the Brentwood home.

What DMT Labs Do

While the extraction process involved dangerous chemicals, the compound itself is found throughout nature and used by multiple cultures.

DMT or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine is a substituted tryptamine that occurs naturally in many plants and animals—including the human body—which is structurally similar to psilocybin and produces short, more intense hallucinations. At least one study has shown that the pineal gland has high concentrations of INMT, which has a role in the biosynthesis of DMT which is present in mammalian brains.

DMT labs create the compound in an attempt to produce the powerful, psychedelic effects. It can be smoked as a crystal, eaten or drunk as a tea, injected, or snorted. It’s a bit more than a party drug as the psychedelic experience provides an intense ego shift that can be a death-like purge or bring on an epiphany.

It appears in Amazonian plants used for ayahuasca like chacruna and Mimosa tenuiflora as (5-MeO-DMT) and in certain species of cacti, or in animals like toads as bufotenin (5-HO-DMT).

High Times typically reports on the potential for DMT in the field of medicine, such as its potential to treat depression or other conditions. In a study published in February in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers explored the effect that DMT had on the mental health of study participants. An analysis of the data from both studies showed that participants had a significant reduction in depression symptoms following the administration of DMT, suggesting that the drug might have potential as a quick-acting treatment with therapeutic effects on mood. The study also showed that the intensity of the psychedelic experience with DMT was linked to improvements in mental health.

Though less prevalent than cannabis or psilocybin, DMT labs pop up from time to time. Usually, however, the ability to manufacture it is simply not worth the risks involved.

1 comment
    “It appears in Amazonian plants used for ayahuasca like chacruna and Mimosa tenuiflora as (5-MeO-DMT) and in certain species of cacti, or in animals like toads as bufotenin (5-HO-DMT).”

    In fact Mimosa tenuiflora DOES NOT contain any 5-MeO-DMT, but rather DMT itself (a different drug/compound).
    In fact the occurrence of DMT in any cacti TMK has not been proven by its isolation (trace amounts of substances occurring in plants can be supposed from chromatography read outs, but that is not accepted as undeniable scientific proof).
    In fact DMT has never been found in any concentrations in any toad species. The related drug/compound Bufotenine (5-HO-DMT) has been found in a number of toad species, but only in small amounts and it has much milder psychedelic effects than DMT or 5-MeO-DMT. 5-MeO-DMT has only been found in the skin secretions of one toad species the Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius) and it is equally as powerful to DMT in psychedelic effects, but is approximately 10 times the potency of DMT in terms of dosage.

    “DMT … can be smoked as a crystal, eaten or drunk as a tea, injected, or snorted.”

    In fact pure DMT is TOTALLY INACTIVE ORALLY because it is rapidly broken down by one of the body’s major enzymes called MonoAmineOxidase (MAO). When leaves from the Chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis) are used in a Ayahuasca mixture the psychedelic brew requires the addition of another plant eg Yage (Banisteriopsis caapi) which contain harmala alkaloids (Harmine, Harmaline & Tetrahydroharman) that block the MAO enzyme from degrading DMT before it can get into the brain.
    In fact pure DMT (which is a freebase) cannot be injected or snorted for a psychedelic effect, doing so would result in an extremely painful and possibly deadly experience! DMT (like most drugs) is insoluble in water and highly alkaline as its pure freebase (the form used for vaping & smoking) and must be reacted with an acid to produce a water soluble salt suitable for snorting or injecting.

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