According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), 24-year-old Ross LeBeau was pulled over in a routine traffic stop, at which point the police officer said he smelled marijuana – a favorite introductory remark by police. But this time, it was apparently true. LeBeau admitted to having the green weed in the center console of his car.
During the encounter, police also uncovered a sock with an unknown substance inside. A couple field tests revealed that the substance inside was methamphetamine. They had found nearly a half-pound of it in the man’s car. “They thought they had the biggest bust in Harris County,” Ross LeBeau said. “This was the bust of the year for them.”
LeBeau was arrested, booked, and jailed and remained there for three days.
Shortly afterward, the HCSO sent out a press release indicating that LeBeau’s arrest “may have kept our children and loves ones free from being introduced to drugs.”
Meanwhile, the “meth” was tested a third time – this time in a forensic lab – and the results came back negative for the illicit drug, but positive for…kitty litter. Yes, LeBeau had kitty litter in a sock.
I didn’t know this, but apparently having a kitty litter-filled sock in your car helps prevent the windows from fogging up. And that’s the reason that Ross’s dad gave it to him and his sister.
LeBeau and his attorney don’t blame the deputies for the arrest, but rather the silly field test equipment that’s prone to false positives.
Those “field tests” are basically useless. According to Forensic magazine, “soap has been positively identified as the date-rape drug, GHB, candy has been confused for meth, and mints have been allegedly mistaken for crack cocaine.”
In addition, “mundane items found in supermarkets, including coffee, aspirin, chocolate and oregano, can come up positive for narcotics using the most common tests available to law enforcement.”
“Even Mucinex DM, an over-the-counter cough medication, came up positive for heroin and morphine, they said,” according to Forensic.
They might as well use a Magic 8-Ball:
Cop to Magic 8-Ball: “Is the substance we found in the suspect’s vehicle meth?”
Magic 8-ball: “You may rely on it.”
Cop to suspect: “Sir, based on the results of our field test, you’re under arrest for the possession of a controlled substance.”
Once the results came back from the lab, the prosecutor nearly laughed, and the charges were dismissed. LeBeau’s three-day stint in prison of course caused him to miss work and have to suffer embarrassment. He and his attorney are now working to expunge the arrest from his record and clear his name.
Also, LeBeau said, “I would like an apology.” Considering the circumstances, I don’t think that’s asking for too much.