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The DEA's search-warrant affidavit alleges that Mugianis initially offered to treat Dinesen for $4,000 with $3,000 paid up front. She would also cover her flights to New York and the cost of their hotel room. Breakspear allegedly described what she would do if the authorities got wind of their plan.
"If anybody asks if I had anything to do with setting up the ibogaine treatment, I will say no," Breakspear told Dinesen, according to court documents. "I will lie under oath and say that you asked me about ibogaine and that I gave you the information. Dr. Sharp and Dimitri are my best friends, I will lie on the stand. . . . If you tell anyone, I know people and will have you killed."
During a subsequent visit, Breakspear allegedly became "angry" when Dinesen said she had changed her mind about taking ibogaine. In September, Dinesen told two other doctors in Bellingham that she was "very distressed" about the situation with Sharp and Breakspear and felt "pressured" to use ibogaine. Sharp, she also claimed, was prescribing her dangerously large doses of morphine. The doctors alerted the Washington State Department of Health and a drug-diversion specialist with the DEA.
Reached by phone, Dinesen briefly discusses her involvement with the DEA investigation before declining to comment further. She denies using heroin (a detail mentioned by DEA investigators in court documents), but confirms that she agreed to work for the feds. As a confidential source, Dinesen's name is not listed in court documents from the criminal case against Mugianis; Dinesen later filed a civil lawsuit against Sharp and Breakspear that reveals her name and corroborates her role as the informant.
"They [the DEA] have been extremely kind to me," Dinesen says. "I didn't go to them because I was in trouble. They came to me. My doctor went to them and said, 'This woman is dying from morphine, we're finding her unconscious,' and then the DEA showed up at my door to help."
At the DEA's urging, Dinesen arranged a series of meetings with Breakspear and expressed renewed interest in participating in an ibogaine ceremony with Mugianis. Breakspear, according to court documents, again recommended that Dinesen try a clinic in Mexico, where the drug is legal and doctors are on hand to handle any medical issues. As Dinesen signed a confidentiality agreement, Breakspear worried aloud that she might be wearing "a wire." DEA agents were recording the conversation and listening in.
On January 6, 2011, Dinesen sent Mugianis a Facebook message asking him to schedule an ibogaine ceremony with her in Seattle. She was asked to fill out an application on Mugianis's website, and Payne followed up with a phone call to arrange the final details. Court documents allege that Payne "quoted a price of $7,800" for the cost and told her to deposit the money in his bank account.
Mugianis and Payne maintain that Dinesen and the DEA set the price, and that the $7,800 figure included airfare and hotel costs. The shaman says he typically charges clients on a sliding scale from $700 to $2,000 and that Dinesen's hefty fee was doubly tempting because the money would have helped to subsidize treatment for less-affluent addicts.
"We broke away from our protocol, and that's what got us in trouble," Mugianis says. "That's the thing I hate the most about all this: She raised the amount of money she was willing to pay us. She offered us almost three times the amount of money we normally do for detox, which should have been a red flag."
Dinesen continued to meet with Breakspear and report to the DEA. In February, Breakspear allegedly told her, "There is no danger in ibogaine, only if you go back to taking drugs." She didn't need to fill out medical forms because "we never put anything on paper."
Breakspear also detailed what Dinesen could expect during her ibogaine ceremony. "The process would begin with them walking into the woods and Mugianis 'making offerings to the forest,'" court documents read. "Mugianis would then call on her ancestors and she would be bathed with leaves, painted in white paint (representing semen) and red paint (representing blood) and wrapped in a white cloth."
On March 2, 2011, a week before the scheduled rendezvous at the Homewood Suites, court documents say, Mugianis called to check up on Dinesen. He asked about her health and suggested she bring a few changes of clothes to the hotel. He again cautioned that the ibogaine experience "could be rough" and warned that she would "feel like shit." He explained that she would take a purity bath during the ceremony to "wash off all the bad spirits, all the guilt, all the shame, wash it down the drain."
Undercover DEA agents were waiting at the airport when Mugianis and Payne arrived in Seattle the following week. They tailed the men to the Homewood Suites and plotted their bust for the following afternoon.
Two years after their arrest, Mugianis and Payne are back at the Homewood Suites in Seattle, this time with McKenna in tow. The men have returned for sentencing in the court of U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue after pleading guilty to their misdemeanor possession charges. Just hoping to avoid prison, they were stunned when the judge handed down their exceptionally light sentences.