The cocaine they were allegedly dealing at RDU was actually Ivory soap, police say

Tarvarest Lindsey Hargrave
Tarvarest Lindsey Hargrave CCBI

It’s not illegal to sell Ivory soap bars wrapped in plastic in an airport — except when they are part of what RDU police said was supposed to be a deal involving 3 pounds of cocaine.

Officers arrested a man from Durham, a man from New York City and a woman from New Jersey on drug-trafficking charges Oct. 5. After a laboratory test showed the seized material was soap, police filed different felony charges on Tuesday.

It is a crime to sell something that people are supposed to believe is an illegal drug or to take part in a deal like that.

Tarvares Lindsey Hargrave, 43, of Durham is now accused of attempting to traffic in cocaine. Jason Christopher Anderson, 40, of New York and Luz Rakuel Ortega, 44, of Swedesboro, N.J., are charged with possession with intent to sell a counterfeit controlled substance.

It is a crime to sell something that people are supposed to believe is an illegal drug or to take part in such a deal.

Read Next

When the three were arrested that Friday night, Anderson and Ortega were charged with trafficking in cocaine by allegedly selling the plastic-wrapped packages to Hargrave.

Hargrave was charged then with two counts of trafficking in cocaine and with using an Audi Q7 as a place to keep drugs.

At the time of the arrest, Raleigh-Durham International Airport police said the deal involved 1.331 kilograms of cocaine, a bit under 3 pounds.

In the new charge against Hargrave, an arrest warrant lists 1.496 kilograms, or 3.3 pounds “of what he believed to be cocaine.”

An arrest warrant for Anderson lists the material involved as “10 bars of Ivory soap wrapped in thick plastic wrap.”

Police declined to comment on the case Wednesday, saying it was part of an ongoing investigation, so it was unclear whether they believe Anderson and Ortega knew the package was soap.

All three are due in court Friday for a hearing on the original charges.

Ron Gallagher 919-829-4572 @RPGKT