Annadel Cruz was the target of ridicule for claiming that two white blocks police found in her car were homemade soap, not cocaine. She and her companion spent a month in prison while the substance was being lab tested.
All charges have been dropped against Cruz. It turns out she was telling the truth.
The Huffington Post posted a story from its affiliated “Dumb as a Blog” site, poking fun at Cruz’s claim in November.
“It’s a good thing the officer didn’t take a whiff to see if it smelled nice,” went the story, posted on a “Darwin Awards”-like site that highlights people’s stupidity.
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“Then again, maybe Cruz just got a really bad recipe for soap?” the blogger wrote. “You can’t trust anything you read on the Internet these days.”
No kidding. Cruz was pulled over by a Penn. state trooper for going five miles over the speed limit and hugging the lane line, the Lehigh Valley newspaper The Morning Call reported. The trooper said he smelled marijuana, which Cruz consented to smoking before she left New York City, but not on the road. The trooper asked to search the car, and Cruz consented.
The officer found “more than 4 pounds of a white powdery substance wrapped in tape in a factory compartment on a side wall of the car,” according to WPTV. Cruz said the substance was soap she had made, but the police claimed it tested positive for cocaine. Police also found a small amount of marijuana in Cruz’s bra.
Cruz, 26, and her companion, Alexander Bernstein, 30, spent the next month in Lehigh County Prison, according to The Morning Call. Bernstein was sentenced on $500,000 bail, and Cruz on $250,000 bail.
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Cruz and Bernstein got out this week when further tests revealed that the packages indeed contained boric acid, or soap.
The couple’s attorneys say this is a clear case of a botched investigation, as well as racial profiling.
“I think it is a nice car with out-of-state plates and a Hispanic female behind the wheel [that led Cruz to be pulled over],” said Josh Karoly, Bernstein’s lawyer. “If it was me driving that car, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Cruz’s attorney, Robert Goldman, said, “After this, everyone should pause about jumping to conclusions when a field test is said to be positive by law enforcement. There are people going to jail on high bail amounts based upon these field tests.”
While her name has been cleared, it will still take time for Cruz to reestablish a “clean” record.
“Her name is all over the place, making light of her defense that she was just transporting soap,” Goldman said. “She was labeled online as a drug dealer, she was incarcerated with people who do commit crimes.”