Tuesday, December 06, 2005

'Cocaine brick' turns to crumbly cheese

Independent Online

Memphis, Tennessee - A woman allegedly tried to hire a hitman to rob and kill some men who she believed had a brick of cocaine in their house, police said. However, the white block turned out to be cheese, and the hitman for hire was an undercover police officer.

The woman was in the Memphis home of the four intended victims last week when she mistook a block of queso fresco cheese for cocaine - inspiring the alleged idea to hire someone to break into the home, take the drugs, and kill the men, police say.

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, was arrested over the weekend and remains in jail with bond set at $1-million on four charges of attempted murder and four counts of soliciting a murder, The Commercial Appeal reported on Tuesday.

An informant described the plot to police, who arranged a meeting between Booth and the undercover officer.

The undercover officer gave Booth some nonfunctioning handguns, bought ammunition for her because she was too young, and the two proceeded to the home under police surveillance.

Booth told the officer that any children inside the house old enough to testify would have to be killed, police said.

A search of the home with the permission of the occupants revealed no drugs - only the white, crumbly cheese common in Mexican cuisine.

"Four men were going to lose their lives over some cheese," said Lieutenant Jeff Clark, who heads Project Safe Neighbourhoods. - Sapa-AP


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