COMPTON, California –
Inner-city gangs have branched out from dealing in crack and heroin. Tide liquid detergent is now one of the hottest commodities on the streets. Many drug dealers now accept Tide as payment, encouraging shoplifters to load up carts of detergent and flee from stores. Others pay small amounts for new-looking tide bottles, which they can fill with generic detergent and resell on the black market.
Shanice Williams says most women she knows would not be caught dead at the laundromat with anything other than Tide detergent. “It’s a status thing. Tide’s classy. Don’t matter if it’s a knockoff as long as it’s blue cause they aint gonna stick their noses up in your laundry. Me though, I only use the real thing, and two cap fulls – ’cause I like my drawers smelling fresh. You gotta watch it though. Bitches will run off with your bottle if you turn your back for even a second. I even seen bitches getting stabbed for they Tide.”
Knock-off bottles are flooding the streets on Compton, Detroit, New York City, and even Des Moines. The FBI says the counterfeiting ring is difficult to stop. Not only are small-timers filling bottles with generic detergent at the local level, but thousands of counterfeit bottles are making their way into the United States from China.
“This is one of the most difficult cases I’ve ever handled as a detective,” said policeman George Lawson. “I have been working with my team tirelessly to get the Tide rings under control. Not being able to do so in a reasonable amount of time has been a real stain on my career.”