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MN Man Spent Months in Jail After Cops Mistook His Vitamins for Meth

31-year-old Joseph Burrell was jailed last November on two felony drug possession charges after police mistook his vitamins for methamphetamine. The charges facing him were dropped last month when a lab test proved that a bag of blue powder found in his car did not contain any illegal substances. Burrell spent nearly three months in jail before the mistake was identified.

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Barry Donegan
Barry Donegan is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign. Follow him at facebook.com/barry.donegan and twitter.com/barrydonegan

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.

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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.

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