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This isn't dope, it's soap: Man arrested in alleged drug ruse
[December 03, 2012]

This isn't dope, it's soap: Man arrested in alleged drug ruse

Dec 03, 2012 (The Wisconsin State Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Jermaine Ruffin, 39, Madison, was arrested Friday afternoon on the unusual tentative charge of falsely presenting a non-controlled substance after he allegedly sold a plastic bag of crack cocaine to a customer, but the crack turned out to be some type of soap or deodorant.

Ruffin also was tentatively charged with attempted strong arm robbery after the customer, a 53-year-old Madison man, paid him $100 for the fake crack.

The Madison Police Department said in a news release the incident happened about 4:50 p.m. Friday at an apartment complex in the 1500 block of Troy Drive.

According to police: The drug buyer hooked up with the seller on the city's north side, with the buyer driving the seller to the south side so the seller could get the crack cocaine from an apartment.

"He emerged with a baggie containing a white, chunky substance," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. "The victim, no stranger to the scent of the drug he sought, took a whiff, his nose telling him this was not crack but some type of soap or deodorant." The buyer had given Ruffin a $100 bill but snatched the bill back from Ruffin when he figured out the ruse.

"The suspect responded by belting the buyer in the head," DeSpain said.

The buyer put the bill in his mouth so he could fight back, the two going at it outside the car, while the buyer yelled for help.

"A woman heard his pleas and got between the two just as police arrived," DeSpain said.

The suspect told police he thought he had real drugs, but wouldn't say which apartment he went to, so police couldn't find the source and couldn't determine at the time what the substance was in the baggie.

___ (c)2012 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) Visit The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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