SAN JOSE — A man who prosecutors say ran an extensive network selling psychedelic and party drugs around the Santa Cruz area, including at UC Santa Cruz, was sentenced to a decade in federal prison, court records show.
Matthew Wilcox Hutchings, 26, was sentenced April 20 to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years supervised release, by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman. At an earlier hearing, Hutchings pleaded guilty to selling LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and MDMA, court records show.
In a letter to the court — among the numerous support letters submitted by family members — Hutchings said he has spent time out of jail while the charges were pending finding legitimate work. He wrote that through counseling, he has come to terms “with the physical and mental damage I have done to myself throughout the last ten years of drug abuse, and provided a support structure that, until recently, I did not imagine myself needing.”
In court records requesting a 14-year prison term, prosecutors wrote that in a search of Hutchings’ Santa Cruz County home, authorities found a shotgun “booby trap” that allowed the gun to be fired without someone pulling the trigger, as well as other guns and body armor. They also found more than “a pound of LSD, including liquid LSD; approximately a pound of MDMA; ketamine, more than eight pounds of concentrated cannabis vials; approximately 40 pounds of dried marijuana buds; approximately 20 pounds of dried marijuana ‘shake’ (low-grade marijuana); and approximately 32 pounds of dry psilocybin mushrooms.”
On top of this, prosecutors said that when Hutchings was in jail, he was recorded telling his mom on the phone that selling drugs made him feel “on top of the (expletive) world.”
“Hutchings said that he regretted nothing, and if he had the chance to do it again, he would,” assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Griswold wrote in a sentencing memo. “His mother laughed and told him not to repeat that sentiment to the judge.”