Fake Cocaine: Tourists In New York Seeking Drugs Conned By Street Hustlers

Hustlers lurking in the by-lanes of New York are duping gullible tourists with fake drugs. These “drug dealers” are peddling products that physically resemble cocaine, but tourists aren’t getting the drugs they want.

Many “drug dealers” are doing brisk business during the evenings and nights on the streets of New York by selling fake cocaine. The best part is that customers generally do not come back to complain about the “cocaine” out of fear of arrest and backlash, chuckled a police officer who “busted” such an exchange,

“I saw a youth selling cocaine for $60. The pair walked to West 47th Street, and the man in the suit handed over the cash and tucked his drugs into the breast pocket of his jacket. I oversaw the entire incident and approached to make the arrest. Having examined the contents in the pocket, after calling upon my training and experience in identifying drugs, I am certain, the buyer was duped.”

As a simple test to confirm if the “drug” being sold was cocaine, the police officer placed the substance in water. The powder caused the water “to bubble like Alka-Seltzer,” noted the officer.

“I know, based on my training and experience, that cocaine does not react in this manner when mixed with water.”

What are the gullible tourists receiving? Out-of-town tourists, who are “recommended” cocaine and informed about its relative ease of procurement, get drawn to the thugs. Not knowing how cocaine looks, these tourists are being handed aspirin, baby powder, talcum powder, or anything that resembles a white powdery substance, shared an employee at Lace Gentlemen’s Club on Seventh Avenue near West 48th Street.

Lace Gentleman's Club Is Facing A Problem Of Its Customers Being Duped With Fake Drugs

The employee, who declined to give his name, said he had seen many fake drug deals conducted outside the club. The dealers seem to be targeting the club’s customers, who are believed to be gullible tourists with loads of cash in their pockets.


“Old-school stuff still works here. They’re blatant. If you’re standing around outside, they’ll walk up to you. They say, ‘Coke, weed, whatever you want, man, I got it.”

Drunken people are the easiest targets. Many have even been lured in by people who have simply opened doors of neighboring buildings with the promise of women or drugs, only to be robbed by them, said an officer connected with such cases.

Lace Gentleman’s Club on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan has posted a sign warning customers about “street hustlers and con men” who work nearby. But, as they say, “Sucker, there is one born every minute.”

[Image Credit | Times Union, Richard Perry/The New York Times]