Flawed results from drug tests at traffic stops are actually a big problem nationwide.
A December traffic stop in Texas led to deputies discovering what they thought was nearly half a pound of methamphetamine. Houston 24-year-old Ross LeBeau was arrested and spent three days in jail. At which time he was promptly released, and the case against him dismissed, because a forensic lab showed that the substance in question was not meth, but cat litter, KTRK reports.
Just after the arrest, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office had even put out a press release touting the fact that deputies may have kept kids from “from being introduced to drugs.” The kitty litter was inside a sock; the odd combination of items was inside LeBeau’s car because it supposedly helps keep windows from fogging up, he tells the station.
Two field tests came back positive for meth before the lab test revealed the truth, and LeBeau and his attorney say something needs to change: “Ultimately it might be bad budget-cutting testing equipment they need to re-evaluate,” the lawyer says.
As for LeBeau, who says he lost work due to the accusations, he says he’d like an apology.
In a statement, the sheriff’s office says deputies found marijuana in the vehicle before spotting the sock, though it’s unclear why LeBeau faced no charges over the pot, notes a post at LawNewz.