In November of 2014, 31-year-old Mankato, MN resident Joseph Burrell had just finished a drug treatment program when cops pulled him over in a grocery store parking lot for driving without his headlights enabled. According to CBS Minnesota, officers searched his vehicle and found a bag of blue powder. A field test used on the powder tested positive for the presence of amphetamine, and Burrell was subsequently booked on two felony drug possession charges and taken to the Blue Earth County Jail, where he remained for nearly three months with his bail set at $250,000. Last month, just as he was about to stand trial for his alleged crimes, more thorough crime lab test results proved that the blue powder found in his car actually contained vitamins, rather than meth, prompting prosecutors to drop the charges.
KMSP-TV Fox 9 notes that Burrell said, “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 [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] lab to get final test results.” Burrell added, “I was furious, I was hot, I was pissed off. At the same time it was like, unbelievable.” It took nearly three months for prosecutors to obtain results from the crime lab’s analysis of the evidence. Burrell was released and the charges were dropped just before he was set to stand trial in February of 2015.
Burrell, who had been working to get his life back on track in a drug treatment program at the time that he was stopped, had an extensive criminal record, including prior drug, kidnapping, domestic assault, and stalking charges.
BenSwann.com previously reported on the plight of a Georgia woman who was arrested on felony methamphetamine possession charges after officers found a spoon encrusted with residue in her car during a traffic stop. She was released after spending over a month in jail when lab test results proved that the substance found on the spoon consisted of SpaghettiOs, rather than methamphetamine.