Narcotics sale goes sour withsugar as substitute for cocaine

Tom Lopez

University Police made two arrests in connection with a failed drug deal on Sunday night — a deal that failed because of the absence of actual narcotics.
Officers responded to a fight between two men on the corner of Cedar and Riverside Avenues. According to police reports, the officers learned upon arrival that the fight started over “a narcotics transaction gone bad.”
University Police officer Erik Swanson said the dispute arose after would-be drug buyer Jerry Robinson, 48, learned the crack cocaine he purchased from Franklin Rodney, 20, was actually sugar.
“He became enraged and decided to try to get his money back from the parties that were conducting the transaction,” Swanson said. “And they were reluctant to give the money back.”
Swanson said Robinson and Rodney were separated by police before he arrived at the scene and never actually made physical contact. After the arrest, Robinson explained everything to Swanson.
“He was very forthcoming, which was kind of unusual,” Swanson said. “He volunteered information that allowed us to make the arrest.”
All the more strange was that Robinson stuck around to talk to officers despite having a misdemeanor warrant out for his arrest.
“I can’t really say what his reasons were,” Swanson said.
Rodney was arrested for a narcotics violation and for giving false identification to police officers. The offense is still a felony even though the substance Rodney sold was sugar. The sale of phony drugs falls under the same category as the sale of actual crack cocaine.

University Police had their hands full with a variety of other incidents.
ù Thieves made off with about $1200 worth of goods from a Territorial Hall room last Tuesday.
According to the police report, two University students left their room unlocked and unattended at about 3:30 p.m.. When they returned around 4:00 p.m., they discovered the theft, which included about $700 worth of compact discs and a $330 Nintendo game system with two game cartridges.
A witness said he saw two unfamiliar men in the hall that day. According to the police report, the witness said one of the men knocked on several doors in the hall, and that neither of the men lived on the floor.
Kinsler said the burglary is the second in two weeks. Last week, compact discs were also stolen from another room in Territorial Hall.
He said the burglaries have convinced them to change their habits.
“We’ve been locking the door all the time,” he said. Kinsler added that he does not expect to see the stolen goods again. “It’s pretty much gone for good,” he said.

ù University Police arrested a man on the Washington Avenue Bridge last Tuesday for consuming alcohol in public and resisting arrest.
According to the police report, Michael Rewell, 45, was seen drinking malt liquor and playing bongo drums in the enclosed walkway.
The defendant was placed under arrest for drinking but resisted attempts to restrain him. According to the report, the officers were forced to place the defendant on the ground and handcuff him. He was then transported to the University Police Department Jail.