LACEY — A 60-year-old township woman has been accused of a homegrown drug operation — with a crop of hallucinogenic mushrooms that involved a child’s help, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

Police were tipped off in March by the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency, that such activities were happening in a Lacey Township residence.

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Ocean County arrest

Officers raided the Elwood Street home of Margaret Whalen and seized several jars containing suspect psilocybin mushrooms.

On May 23, results from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation laboratory confirmed that suspicion.

At the time, Whalen was the legal guardian of three minor children who also lived in the home.

Psilocybin mushrooms are a class 1 narcotic (
Psilocybin mushrooms are a class 1 narcotic (

Psilocybin is an illegal drug — in the same federal Schedule I category as heroin and LSD.

READ MORE: Mom and son had pot-laced Pebbles & Captain Crunch, cops say

Investigators then found that Whalen had one of the children involved in manufacturing and distributing the mushrooms.

Whalen was charged on Tuesday with the following:

🔸 maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance facility
🔸 manufacturing psilocybin mushrooms
🔸 possession of psilocybin mushrooms with intent to distribute
🔸 possession of psilocybin mushrooms
🔸 employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme
🔸 endangering the welfare of a child (two counts)

She was taken to Ocean County Jail, pending a detention hearing.

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