Police: Central Pa. Man Tried Sham 'Shroom Swindle

December 6, 2011 - 10:25 AM
Food and Farm Mushroom Boom

In this Sept. 17, 2011 photo, a mushroom sprouts just off-trail as Kyle Hildebrand of Ellsworth, Maine, pedals by during a mountain bike race at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, Maine. Rain from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee left behind a bumper crop of mushrooms on lawns and in forests across the Northeast. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

EPHRATA, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania man is behind bars after police say he tried to pass off store-bought mushrooms as the illegal psychedelic variety.

Twenty-year-old Jayson Hartman was arrested last week in connection with the alleged fake drug sale.

Ephrata police say they broke up the sale after receiving a call about a suspicious vehicle outside a grocery store on Nov. 8.

Investigators say Hartman was trying to sell three bags of shiitake and porcini mushrooms to another man for $250, claiming the mushrooms were psychedelics.

Upon questioning, police say Hartman admitted he bought the mushrooms and cut them up to make them appear authentic.

Hartman is being held on $40,000 bail. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.