A woman from New Jersey and her partner were recently arrested at the Raleigh Durham International Airport in Raleigh, North Carolina, for allegedly selling cocaine wrapped up as packages of Ivory soap bars. According to reports, just under 3 pounds of cocaine were seized in the drug bust, which was part of a larger investigation.
But did the packages contain cocaine, or were they actually Ivory soap? When law enforcement sent the bars to the lab, results of testing showed that the bars in question were soap and nothing more. However, this revelation did little to help the NJ woman behind bars and her partner, held on $1 million bail and $750,000 bail, respectively. Instead of dropping all charges and allowing them to go, law enforcement filed new felony charges as a result of the testing.
Though officers originally thought that cocaine had been sold to a Durham man, the determination that the package contained nothing but soap meant that the charges changed from selling cocaine but to taking part in a drug deal – even if it is determined that the substance sold was not a drug at all.
There is not yet any evidence to determine whether or not the NJ woman and her partner who sold the package to the Durham man were aware that it did not contain cocaine. However, taking part in what is believed to be a drug deal – either by knowingly selling a legal substance as if it were drugs or by selling a product believed to be an illegal drug – is still a felony.
Are You Getting Caught in the Middle?
If your loved one is living with an addiction, you may think that all the risk is falling on them, that because you are not the one using drugs that you are immune from charges. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
If, for example, your loved one is keeping large amounts of an illegal substance in your home, or if they or their friends are selling drugs out of your home, you will be caught up in the investigation even if you do not know about it. You could potentially be hit with a conspiracy to distribute charge or with selling the drug in question. If there are children in the house, parents and guardians are at risk of losing custody either for a time or for the long-term if it is believed that they are being exposed to drug use and sales or are able to physically access the substance.
Regardless of whether you know about what is happening, or whether you have been working hard to get your loved one to stop, will not matter, at least not in the beginning. It could take weeks or months to clear your name, not to mention time lost at work, underage children who require care being put into the system, legal fees, and more.
Protect Yourself, Protect Your Loved One
The sooner you take a hard stance against your loved one’s use of illegal substances in your house and any other illegal activities, the sooner you will be protected from prosecution. One of the best ways to ensure that your protection translates into also protecting your loved one from loss of freedom – or loss of life due to drug overdose – is to help them connect with drug addiction treatment services that can save their life.
What you can do:
- Be aware of what’s happening in your house. Even if you don’t want to see or acknowledge what is going on, it is your business and your safety that are at risk as well as your loved one.
- Take a strong stance. Make it clear that there should be no illegal substance of any kind in your home for any reason. Set boundaries and then follow through if they are crossed.
- If you are unsafe, leave. If your loved one is aggressive or violent in response to your boundaries and you feel that your physical safety or the safety of anyone in the house is in danger, leave. Nothing is more important than safety.
- If you are ready to help your loved one connect with treatment, ask. You do not have to struggle alone to find the right drug rehab program for your loved one. You can call a treatment consultant to get the information you need to help your loved one heal now.
Are you ready to take the first step toward protecting yourself and your loved one from addiction?