ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A New York man who spent 29 days in jail after Pennsylvania state police mistook homemade soap for cocaine has filed a lawsuit.
The Allentown Morning Call reports Alexander Bernstein says he had to pay thousands of dollars in court costs and missed Thanksgiving with his toddler before the charges were dropped. He’s seeking damages exceeding $150,000. State troopers and the field test manufacturer are named in the suit filed last week.
Bernstein was a passenger in a Mercedes-Benz police pulled over for speeding near Allentown in November 2013.
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.
The driver was charged with marijuana possession and speeding.
State police declined to comment.