Franklin man ordered held on mushroom, pot-dealing charges – New Jersey Herald

Lori Comstock   | New Jersey Herald

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Cannabis farm prepares for first harvest in New Jersey

TerrAscend NJ prepares for its first harvest from the Boonton Twp. farm after New Jersey votes to legalize marijuana on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

Danielle Parhizkaran and Tariq Zehawi, Morristown Daily Record

A 23-year-old Franklin Borough man was ordered held in jail Thursday, after Sussex County narcotics detectives say they seized psychedelic mushrooms, marijuana plants and $16,000 in drug proceeds from inside his mother’s home in the borough.

Lukas Budzel’s mother, who was not identified in Thursday’s virtual court hearing, was granted a temporary restraining order against her son hours after his Jan. 28 arrest at her Scott Road home, according to Jerome Neidhardt, a Sussex County assistant prosecutor. His mother said she was unable to control her son’s behavior and that he had been physically and verbally abusive, Neidhardt said.

Detectives with the county’s Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force conducted several deals with Budzel for marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms – better known as “magic” mushrooms – in January, enough to warrant a second-degree drug distribution charge, according to police documents. 

Police added a first-degree charge after they searched his home and found scales, packaging materials, heat sealers, butane gas, gel capsules, psychedelic mushrooms in clear baggies and marijuana plants, according to Neidhardt. An envelope containing $16,000 cash was found by the living room couch, he said.

“The state is clearly convinced that Mr. Budzel is a for-profit drug dealer, that he’s been in business for quite some time, based off the items taken out of the house and his mother’s statements,” the prosecutor said.

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Budzel, who has a medical marijuana card, told police he “prescribed” mushrooms and marijuana to people because it had benefitted him,

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