Soap Mistaken For Cocaine Lands 2 People In Prison For A Month

Two people spent a month behind bars after police pulled them over in Pennsylvania and found two plastic-wrapped packages of homemade soap in the trunk that troopers mistook for cocaine, The Morning Call reports.

Annadel Cruz, 26, and Alexander Bernstein, 30, were driving from New York City through Pennsylvania in a Mercedes-Benz rental car when state police pulled them over for going five miles over the speed limit.

When the trooper said he smelled marijuana, he asked to search the car.

Police thought the soap in the trunk was cocaine, and a field test came supposedly back positive. Cruz and Bernstein were then arrested on cocaine-trafficking charges.

The soap was reportedly in the form of a “white powdery substance,” The Express-Times reported in November.

Lab results came back last week showing the substance was boric acid, or soap, not cocaine.

Cruz and Bernstein were sent to county prison. Bail was set at $US500,000 for Bernstein and $US250,000 for Cruz, according to The Express-Times.

Bernstein posted bail the day before the district attorney’s office announced it was dropping the charges. Lawyers for the couple are accusing the police of profiling a Hispanic woman and screwing up the field test.

“A young man spent a month in jail, spent a substantial amount of money to get out of jail and missed Thanksgiving with his 17-month-old son,” Bernstein’s attorney Josh Karoly told The Morning Call. “To do that on a field test, we better be darn sure that these field tests are accurate.”

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