Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Lumberton Township Police Officer in Charge Lt. Anthony Nippins announced that nearly a quarter-million dollars in cash and more than 100 pounds of marijuana were seized following a raid on an illegal marijuana dispensary doing business in a Route 38 strip mall in Lumberton Township.
Additionally, 48 packets of heroin and more than a pound of psychedelic mushrooms were seized as a result of the investigation into the operation, which was run inside a store that went by the name of Skraptyques.
The business operated in a plaza along with a pizzeria, a children’s dance studio and other shops.
Along with raw marijuana, the store also sold edibles in counterfeit packages that resembled popular food items such as Cheetos, Life Savers, Nerds, Skittles, as well as a Cocoa Pebbles Krispie Bar, which featured a picture on the package of Fred Flintstone with redness in his eyes.
“This operation was not an authorized cannabis dispensary such as those presently being approved by the State,” Prosecutor Coffina said.
“Rather, this was a brazen retail outlet operating as a convenience store for illegal marijuana, other CDS, and edibles in packaging that would make them very attractive to young children when their customers brought them home."
"The approaching legalized retail market for cannabis still will not permit uncontrolled and, frankly, dangerous operations such as these, and we will continue our enforcement efforts to ensure the safety of Burlington County residents, especially our children.”
Five people were taken into custody following a four-week investigation that ended in late March.
The owners - Mathew Quinn, 44, and Crystal Cain, 30, of Madison Avenue in Mount Holly - were charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession with Intent to Distribute Psilocybin Mushrooms, Fortifying a CDS Manufacturing/Distribution Facility and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
Cain was additionally charged with Possession of Heroin and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Three employees were also charged: Perry Brown, 55, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania; Nicole Colley, 31, of Mount Holly; and Marion Huff, 26, of Florence.
All were charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
Colley was also charged with the Distribution of Psilocybin Mushrooms.
Brown, who provided security at the business, was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Firearm While Committing a Controlled Dangerous Substance Crime and Possession of Large Capacity Magazines.
A firearm was seized that Brown had in his possession at the time of his arrest.
All five were released following their first appearances in Superior Court in Mount Holly.
The investigation revealed that customers who entered the business were met by an armed guard wearing a bulletproof vest.
Their cell phones were taken, and they were subjected to a body scan by a hand-held metal detector before being buzzed into a secure back room.
Once inside, a large display area showcased the marijuana and edibles that were for sale.
Psychedelic mushrooms were also presented as an option. Customers would make their selections, and a cash transaction would take place.
The drugs and currency were seized after search warrants were executed at the business, the Madison Avenue residence, a self-storage facility in Mount Laurel and four vehicles.
The investigation was conducted by the BPCO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Unit and the Lumberton Township Police Department, with assistance the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department, the New Jersey Department of Treasury and the New Jersey State Police.