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Eye Doctor Accused of Manufacturing Hallucinogenic, Endangering His Children

A clandestine DMT laboratory was allegedly located in the master bedroom of a Murrieta optometrist's home during the service of a unrelated search warrant by the Murrieta/Temecula Regional Gang Task Force, police said in a news release issued Friday.

Eye Doctor Accused of Manufacturing Hallucinogenic, Endangering His Children

Results from a state laboratory confirmed Murrieta police investigators’ suspicions that a former resident was allegedly manufacturing a hallucinogenic drug known as DMT in his home, a sergeant said Friday.

Ending a months-long investigation, David Alan Dortch, 48, was arrested Nov. 1 on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance and child endangerment, Murrieta police Sgt. Don Weller stated in a news release.

Dortch is listed as the owner and operator of a Murrieta optometry practice called Spectrum Vision Center.

Members of the Murrieta/Temecula Regional Gang Task Force initially visited Dortch’s former residence in the 20000 block of Matador Way on April 20 to serve a search warrant regarding a vandalism investigation allegedly involving his 12-year-old son, according to the news release.

The boy was taken into custody on suspicion of causing more than $15,000 in graffiti-related damages, Weller said.

“During the service of that search warrant, investigators located a small marijuana grow and what appeared to be an active, illicit clandestine DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) laboratory, which was located in the parents' master bedroom of the residence,” Weller said. “It was determined by investigators at the scene that Mr. Dortch was responsible for setting up and maintaining the marijuana grow and the possible DMT laboratory.”

DMT is a chemical that, when ingested or inhaled, acts as a psychedelic drug, according to a Wikipedia page on the subject. "Depending on the dose and method of administration, its subjective effects can range from short-lived milder psychedelic states to powerful immersive experiences; these are often described as a total loss of connection to external reality and an experience of encountering indescribable spiritual/alien realms," the Web page reports.

Weller said chemicals were collected from Dortch’s residence as evidence, then sent to the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services for a more detailed analysis.

Results received by the Murrieta Police Department on Oct. 10 confirmed the presence of DMT, Weller said.

The Murrieta/Temecula Regional Gang Task Force continued its investigation, which ultimately led to Dortch’s arrest Nov. 1 on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance, which is a felony. He was also jailed on suspicion of misdemeanor child endangerment, “due to the accessibility of the dangerous drugs located in the residence to his children,” Weller said.

As of Friday, jail records indicated Dortch had been released from Southwest Detention Center after posting $50,000 bond and was due in court Dec. 30.

Anyone with information or questions regarding the investigation may contact Capt. Dennis Vrooman at 951-304-2677. Information may also be provided anonymously through "We Tip" by calling 1-800-78-CRIME.

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