Joseph Ray Burrell of Mankato, Minnesota sat in jail for months on felony drug charges before a lab test concluded that the evidence, which authorities previously believed to be a large amount of powdered amphetamines, turned out to be vitamins.
As it turns out, the man’s story about the powder actually being vitamins was true and he’s says he’s not happy that it took as long as it did for the evidence to be processed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s crime lab.
Burrell indicated that evidence records showed that roughly a month went by before prosecutors sent the powder to be tested and then more than another month passed after that before the results of the lab test were turned. During this period, he sat in jail with a bail set at $250,000.
I had been sitting in the jail since November with my bail set at $250,000 (…) Then, two days before trial, they dropped the charges and let me go.
The day before the man was to be tried for his alleged drug crimes, he was released from jail following the dismissal of his charges on February 4, 2015.
As for charges, the Mankato man was facing two felony counts, each of third and fifth-degree drug possession, Mankato Free Press reported.
Blue Earth County assistant attorney Chris Rovney said that an initial field test of a bag of white powder discovered in the vehicle being driven by Burrell on November 14, 2014 tested positive for amphetamine during an initial field test.
Burrell was pulled over by a Mankato police officer in the parking lot of the Riverfront Drive Hy-Vee grocery store because he was exiting the lot without his lights on. It turned out, he had a failure to appear warrant out for his arrest in St. Louis County District Court on a charge of fleeing from an officer of the law on foot.
A search of his vehicle resulted in the officer discovering a plastic bag containing half an ounce of crystal shards. The criminal complaint filed indicated that the field test said the shards contained amphetamine, however, the more accurate test contradicted the results of the initial field test.
The wrongly incarcerated man admits he’s used drugs in the past and that he had just finished an in-patient treatment program at New Beginnings, a drug treatment center near the small town of Waverly west of the Twin Cities, prior to his stop in Mankato and subsequent arrest in Mankato.
In other drug related crime news here on Inquisitr, Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee was released from jail after his six-month incarceration in China on a marijuana charge.
What would you do if you were wrongly imprisoned for months on drug charges after a field test said your vitamins were drugs?