Johnson County Metro

Plot to sell baking soda as cocaine lands Treynor man in jail

Police say he planned to sell fake drug to 'dumb' college students

IOWA CITY — A plot to sell baking soda disguised as cocaine to “dumb” college students landed a Treynor man in jail this weekend, police said.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, around 1:28 a.m. Sunday, officers pulled over Nicholas G. Carolus, 23, in the area of Linn and Washington streets when he failed to obey a traffic sign. Police said Carolus was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Carolus also showed signs of impairment, admitted to drinking and “seemed very confused,” police said. Testing from a drug recognition expert showed Carolus was under the influence of alcohol, depressants, stimulants and marijuana.

When police searched Carolus, they found two bags containing a white powder. A third bag fell out of his pants during field sobriety tests at the police station, police said.

Carolus allegedly told police the bags contained baking soda and he was going to sell them for $60 each.

“College kids are dumb,” Carolus said, according to criminal complaints.

Carolus faces charges of controlled substance violation, a felony, and operating under the influence, a serious misdemeanor.

According to the Iowa Code, someone can be charged with a controlled substance violation for possessing with intent to deliver “counterfeit” or “simulated” controlled substances.

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