ALPENA — A former custodian at Alpena High School sold a drug known to be abused by teenagers and made psychedelic drugs in his bedroom, according to police.
Scott Henning, 29, was arrested in August after a package containing illegal drugs being shipped from overseas was intercepted by federal authorities, leading to a drug raid in his Hubbard Lake home. The package contained more than 1,300 doses of ecstasy and Xanax, hidden inside a bluetooth speaker, according to police reports obtained by The News through Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.
Henning was later charged with possession of child pornography after images of more than 100 children were found on electronic devices seized during the drug raid.
Defense attorney Alan Curtis declined to comment for this story.
Henning, who formally resigned from his Alpena Public Schools position in September, is scheduled to appear in the 88th Circuit Court today to determine whether there is enough evidence for him to continue toward trial.
In early August, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent informed Alpena law enforcement that a package addressed to Henning had been intercepted at JFK Airport in New York. The package, which originated in the Netherlands, contained the equivalent of about 1,200 doses of MDMA, a hallucinogen and stimulant also known as ecstasy.
The package also contained 149 pills of Xanax, a highly addictive anti-anxiety drug. The drugs were wrapped in tinfoil and hidden inside a bluetooth speaker in a separate box inside the package. Federal officials removed the drugs and turned them over to the Huron Undercover Narcotics Team. The drugs were replaced with a device designed to alert police once the package was opened. The package was then allowed to be delivered to Henning’s address in Hubbard Lake, where it was placed outside the garage door by detectives and kept under surveillance until it was taken inside by the home’s owner.
Half an hour after Henning arrived at the house, detectives knocked on the front door, spoke to the homeowner, and executed a search warrant. Police found the package under the back porch. During a search of the home, they found evidence of a drug lab in Henning’s bedroom. Police seized a heating plate and glass beaker containing a brown slime-like substance, later identified as the base of the psychedelic drug N-Dimethyltryptamine. Large chunks of a tan, crystalline substance were identified by police as ecstasy. Police found mushrooms being dried on a dresser and a tote holding mushrooms in various stages of growth in the bedroom closet. More mushrooms were later found in the glove compartment of Henning’s vehicle.
The room also contained a pressure cooker containing glass jars full of mushroom spores and wet corn — one method used in growing mushrooms with hallucinogenic properties. Additional jars of corn and 15 petri dishes containing mushroom spores were scattered throughout the room, along with various drug-making paraphernalia. On a nightstand, detectives found notebook paper containing drug weights and prices. Multiple empty shipping boxes were found in the room.
Henning had been living at the Hubbard Lake residence since December, and had received one or two other packages while he was living at the home, the homeowner told police. A U.S. postal inspector confirmed that Henning has received 46 packages, according to police reports. The reports do not indicate the contents or origin of those packages.
Two loaded semi-automatic pistols and 435 rounds of ammunition were found in Henning’s dresser drawer. A single-shot pistol was retrieved from under his mattress. Police seized two electronic tablets, a cell phone, a desktop computer, and a laptop during the raid.
On social media chat logs found by on the devices, Henning gives instructions about how to consume mushrooms, discusses prices for ecstasy and mushrooms, shares a video of himself weighing ecstasy, and encourages a correspondent to drug the correspondent’s mother by slipping Xanax into her breakfast.
Henning was charged with 13 counts, including operating a drug lab, maintaining a drug house, delivering ecstasy, and felony possession of a firearm.
Later, after further police analysis of the data on his electronic devices, he was additionally charged with possession of more than 100 images of child pornography, including photos of prepubescent children.
Henning worked at Alpena High School as an afternoon-shift custodian, with a shift beginning at 2:20 p.m., from spring 2018 until the time of his arrest. He received positive scores on his employee evaluations while working at the school.