Joshua Bortnick

The trial of man accused of manufacturing illegal hallucinogenic drugs began Tuesday in Pima County Superior Court.

Joshua Bortnick, 43, is accused of possession of equipment or chemicals for the purpose of manufacturing dangerous drugs, attempted manufacture of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bortnick is being tried in absentia. A warrant for his arrest was issued in June.

He was arrested in May 2013 at a motel on Oracle Road near Grant Road after guests complained to management of an overwhelming chemical odor coming from Bortnick's room.

When a manager asked to inspect the room, Bortnick initially refused but later agreed after the manager threatened to call police, according to court testimony.

The manager testified that bottles and chemistry-like equipment were scattered throughout the room and a brown substance appeared splattered over the bathroom walls.

Bortnick fled with some items when the manager called police. He later returned and was arrested.

In a nearby trash bin, Tucson Police found a towel Bortnick fled with and what appeared to be instructions on the manufacture of dimethyltryptamine, a psychedelic drug also known as DMT.

The trial continues today in the courtroom of Pima County Superior Court Judge Christopher Browning.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or On Twitter @pm929.