TRENTON — Ed Forchion, better known as "NJ Weedman," turned down a plea offer Tuesday that would have sent him to prison for seven years on drug charges related to the April raid of his restaurant and adjacent "pot temple" on East State Street.

'NJ Weedman' Ed Forchion (Sergio Bichao, Townsquare Media NJ)

NJ Advance Media reported that Forchion pleaded not guilty to marijuana possession and distribution, including distributing within 1,000 feet of a school.

"I am not being bribed out of my right to a fair trial," Forchion said following the arraignment, according to the report.

Among the evidence seized by authorities in the raid this past spring, the report said, were surveillance cameras, the footage from which Forchion said would show police were lying about a street fight in front of his business. Prosecutors maintain that Forchion was selling marijuana illegally there, and said they have a witness to corroborate that claim.

Neither the footage nor the identity of the witness has been made public.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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