Three Months in Jail… For Vitamin Possession

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Legal vitamins mistaken for “meth.”

Joseph Burrell's mugshot after being arrested with OTC vitamins.

MANKATO, MN — A man spent nearly three months in jail on felony drug possession charges after police searched him during a traffic stop and found vitamin supplements.

Joseph Burrell, 31, was pulled over by police in November 2014 when he was observed allegedly driving without his headlights on. The traffic stop ultimately led to a vehicle search. It was not clear if the search was voluntary.

The contraband search turned up a bag of powdered vitamin supplements, blue in color. Police alleged that the bag contained illegal methamphetamines based on the dubious results of a field test kit,according to CBS Minnesota.

Police had little incentive to believe Mr. Burrell about the true composition of the powder, since he had recently completed a drug treatment program. He was arrested and booked on two felony drug possession charges, and was taken to the Blue Earth County Jail.

“I was furious, I was hot, I was pissed off. At the same time it was like, unbelievable.” Mr. Burrell told KMSP-TV Fox 9.

Mr. Burrell’s bail was set at a whopping $250,000.00, which he was unable to pay. He sat in jail for nearly three months, waiting for the wheels of justice to slowly turn. A trial date was set for February 2015.

It took more than a month for the prosecution to even attempt to run further lab tests on the evidence.

“I believe the prosecutor in Blue Earth County was dragging their feet. I got arrested November 14, 38 days later, he finally sends the alleged amphetamines for the BCA [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] lab to get final test results,” Mr. Burrell said.

It wasn’t until January 2015 when the BCA lab finally completed its tests and determined that there was no methamphetamines in the bag. Charges were dropped, and Mr. Burrell was finally vindicated — but not without enormous inconvenience and deprivation of his liberty.

In total, it took nearly three months a man to be set free after breaking no laws. This shocking outcome looms over countless Americans who are scrutinized by police every year for the property they keep in their possession. This is one of the many ways that substance prohibition endangers the liberties of everyone in society — not just the inebriated.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. See!

    There are some sick individuals that get off on making people’s lives miserable. Sooner or later, the domestic blowback will start en mass.

    I support Jean’s contention. Remember the adage, “the only good Indian is a dead one”? Just replace Indian with government thug….

    BTW, here is a link from LRC where hut hut hut gloverment goon admits to framing people for fun and profit.

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/officer-reveals-planting-evidence-lying-part-game/

    Also, note the paid government trolls that try to discredit the report as saying it satire or false reporting….

    Another thing to note, is the confidant admits this is SOP for all police agencies across the country. Not just the area he operates in.

    So when Glover aka this site’s clown clover states, “Well there is an occasional rotten apple in the barrel”. His argument is entirely blown out of the water by the deputy’s statement. All, so called policing agencies nation wide, use these tactics to punish the mundanes that question their authority.

    David Ward
    Memphis, Tennessee

    • The first time I knew of this happening to someone was in 1970. It ain’t a new thing. And planting drugs is as old as drug laws and I’ve seen that happen many times. When a cop looks for drugs, everything looks like a drug. I watched whole red chili peppers, jalapenos and dried basil….that still looked like…well….basil go into an evidence bag. Contact cleaner, in the original sealed can went into an evidence bag also. Wedding pictures too. When you’re desperate, take the kitchen sink and rotten fruit in the fridge and the basil pesto in the freezer…..and just to be safe, that big stack of rib eyes. Oh yeah, candy thermometers, whisks, computer monitors, printers and lots of this that and the other are mighty suspicious too. Be sure to not list items taken either. If the thugs come, you are guilty…..even if they have the wrong address. And now the Supremes have ruled that legal, every single person in their path(excepting friends they can simply pass on)are criminals.

      A friend was bathing his 4 year old son when he was attacked from behind, getting his arms wrenched in his shoulders, slammed on the tub on top of his son, handcuffed and taken off to jail. He had no idea his wife would have an affair with a guy that was a really obese, ugly SOB cop. He’d own a small town now if he hadn’t caught the cop after he got out of jail and beat shit out of him, being about half his size. But the suit stuck enough the cop was put on leave until he got caught selling stolen firearms from local residences for the second time. He’s now doing time. I guess there must be a point you can’t turn the blind eye to in a small enough town.

      The county next to where I live had a cop get caught in a drug sting by the state so he was sent to my friggin county to be a deputy. Tough discipline eh? A raise in pay and a new county of victims to be.

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