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Cocaine-soap mix-up costs Pennsylvania police $195,000

Associated Press

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Court documents show the Pennsylvania State Police have paid $195,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a New York man who spent 29 days behind bars after troopers mistook homemade soap for cocaine.

Alexander Bernstein’s attorney, Joshua Karoly, told the Morning Call his client also has settled claims against Safariland LLC, the company that produced the allegedly faulty drug test that troopers used during a November 2013 traffic stop. Details of that settlement weren’t available.

State police and Safariland didn’t return messages seeking comment Thursday.

Bernstein was a passenger in a Mercedes-Benz police pulled over for speeding near Allentown. Troopers smelled marijuana, searched the car and found packages the driver said was homemade soap, but tested as cocaine. Lab tests later showed it was soap.

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