A routine traffic stop for one Texas man turned into a nightmare when police mistakenly thought a half pound of kitty litter was methamphetamine.
Police arrested Ross Lebeau on drug charges, sent out a news release on the drug bust and put up a mugshot of him for the world to see, KTRK reports.
“People have been calling me a kingpin or drug lord,” Lebeau said.
Lebeau said the substance was just cat litter inside a sock given to him by his father to keep the windows in his car from fogging up. But when authorities tested the substance it came back as positive for meth twice.
Lebeau spent three days in jail before a third test performed by the county’s forensic lab revealed that the substance was cat litter. The case was dismissed this week, but Lebeau now faces an uphill battle to clear his name. Lebeau said the accusation has caused him embarrassment and lost him his job.
He and his attorney aren’t blaming the authorities, but rather the field tests they conducted. “Ultimately it might be bad testing equipment they need to re-evaluate,” Lebeau’s attorney George Reul said.
This isn’t the only time field tests for drugs have wound up falsely accusing someone for a crime. A Florida man was arrested during a routine traffic stop because flakes of doughnut icing tested positive for methamphetamine in July, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The state crime lab retested the glaze and dismissed the charges, but the man wound up filing a lawsuit with the city of Orlando and the company responsible for the test, Breitbart reported.