ROWLEY — When a state trooper found psychedelic mushrooms in a car belonging to a Beverly man in early April, he told police they were wild portobello and shiitake mushrooms given to him by a Vermont friend.
But Christopher Erbafaina’s story did not hold much water considering the trooper also found a scale and plastic baggies in the car. Erbafaina was subsequently charged with possession of a Class D drug and motor vehicle-related offenses, according to Trooper John Lannon’s report.
Erbafaina saw the drug charge continued without a finding for a year Wednesday in Ipswich District Court, located in the Newburyport court building.
Lannon was patrolling Interstate 95 on April 7 about 1:30 p.m. when he was told to be on the lookout for an erratic driver who had just passed the Rowley weigh station while heading south.
The driver, according to witnesses, was weaving in and out of lanes and across sections of the grassy median. Lannon caught up with Erbafaina near Exit 72 in Topsfield, about 15 minutes after beginning his search.
After pulling him over, Lannon told Erbafaina that police received numerous calls about him driving in an unsafe manner.
Erbafaina told the trooper he was rushing home from Salisbury after receiving a troubling call from his girlfriend. When asked, Erbafaina denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol but agreed to take a series of field sobriety tests, which he passed.
Lannon then asked if Erbafaina had any drugs in the car. Erbafaina said he had some alcohol and marijuana products, adding that he worked at a Greater Newburyport retail marijuana dispensary. He then gave Lannon permission to search his car.
In the trunk, Lannon found a scale and numerous plastic bags along with a large plastic grocery bag. In the grocery bag were roughly 44 grams of a “fungal-like” substance that Lannon identified as psilocybin mushrooms.
“When asked, Erbafaina stated they were wild portobello and shiitake mushrooms given to him by a friend in Vermont,” Lannon wrote in his report.
Despite Erbafaina passing field sobriety tests, Lannon felt Erbafaina was unfit to get back behind the wheel based on his erratic driving. Erbafaina’s car was towed and he was given a “courtesy ride” to his girlfriend’s house in Danvers.
Erbafaina later received a court summons for possession of a Class D substance to distribute, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, license not in possession and a marked lanes violation, according to Lannon’s report.