Police: Central Pa. man tried sham 'shroom swindle

December 6, 2011 - 11:20 AM

EPHRATA, Pa. (AP) — The mushrooms may have lacked the magic he claimed they had, but a man's attempt to sell them landed him behind bars anyway.

Jayson Hartman was trying to pass off some shredded shiitake and porcini mushrooms as the psychedelic variety when officers broke up the attempted sale last month, said police in the central Pennsylvania city of Ephrata.

Hartman alleged admitted he chopped up store-bought mushrooms then bagged them in an attempt to pass them off as the illegal variety, Ephrata police Sgt. Philip Snavely told the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era.

Investigators said the sale was broken up after police received a call about a suspicious vehicle outside a grocery store on Nov. 8. Police said they recovered a receipt from the car showing a $30 purchase of the pseudo psychedelics.

Hartman had arranged to meet his alleged buyer through Facebook, WHP-TV reported.

Hartman was arrested Friday and charged with violating state drug law. He's being held on $40,000 bail.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Hartman.