Home / Badge Abuse / Man Kidnapped and Caged for Days After Cops Mistake Kitty Litter for Meth

Man Kidnapped and Caged for Days After Cops Mistake Kitty Litter for Meth

Houston, TX — Ross LeBeau, of Houston, was recently cleared of drug charges after he was arrested for possession of Methamphetamine. It turns out that LeBeau was actually in possession of kitty litter, not meth. However, this made no difference to the cops who kidnapped and caged him for it.

Considering that there was nearly a half pound of the substance in his vehicle, the police thought that they had conducted the bust of the century. They even put out a press release with LeBeau’s mugshot to brag about the bust, after two faulty field tests determined that the substance was crystal meth. While LeBeau spent 3 days in jail, the kitty litter was sent to a forensics lab for further testing, and it was ultimately discovered that the substance was not meth.

“They thought they had the biggest bust in Harris County. This was the bust of the year for them,” LeBeau said.

“I was wrongly accused. I’m going to do everything in my power to clear my name,” he added.

Attorney George Reul pointed out that the department’s entire field testing system may be compromised.

“Ultimately it might be bad testing equipment that they need to re-evaluate,” attorney George Reul said.

Cases like this are nothing new, in fact, we report on them on a regular basis.

According to the national litigation and public policy organization, the Innocence Project, at any given time there are an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 innocent people currently locked in cages in U.S. prisons.

Couple this staggering number with the number of people locked up for non-violent drug possession and the United States looks more like the Gulag of the 1930’s than the Land of the Free.

But how can so many innocent people be locked up, how does the state present evidence, that it doesn’t have, to get a conviction? Well, the folks at the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the U.S., Marijuana Policy Project, made a short video that explains just how easy it is for police to turn an entirely innocent person into a criminal.

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During the short video below, the researchers demonstrate how easy it is for police to generate a false positive during a field test for drugs.

The group tests over the counter Tylenol PM in a police test kit for cocaine — the test kit says the Tylenol is cocaine.

The group also tests the most popular chocolate in the world, Hershey’s chocolate, for marijuana, it also tests positive.

Perhaps the most disturbing test was when the group put absolutely nothing into the field test kit, and they received a positive result.

The implications associated with wrongfully accusing and then claiming to have evidence of an individual in possession of an illegal substance are formidable — to say the least. Most people are simply unaware of the fact that police test kits are a crapshoot.

According to Forensic Resources:

The director of a lab recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for forensic science excellence has called field drug testing kits “totally useless” due to the possibility of false positives. In laboratory experiments, at least two brands of field testing kits have been shown to produce false positives in tests of Mucinex, chocolate, aspirin, chocolate, and oregano.

In spite of these recommendations and multiple examples of innocent people being incarcerated for their error, police departments across the country continue to employ the use of these “totally useless” kits.

On May 8 of this year, Gale Griffin and her husband Wendall Harvey, who’ve been driving trucks together for the last seven years were wrongfully charged with possession of cocaine. They were targeted by incompetent cops who used criminally ineffective drug test kits on a white powdery substance found inside the couple’s truck. The kit identified the substance as cocaine. But it was not cocaine. It was baking soda Griffin used for stomach problems. However, they were caged for months while the reckless cops ignored their pleas of innocence.

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Also this year, Alexander Bernstein of Brooklyn was jailed and had his life ruined after cops mistook soap for cocaine.

Wenonah resident John Cokos recently settled a lawsuit against the Gloucester County police department for $35,000. The lawsuit comes after an arrest for drug possession because the officer claimed that his crackers were crack rocks.

In October, college student John Harrington was thrown in prison after police, with one of these field drug test kits, tested sugar, and came up with a false positive for cocaine.

“Really, I’m really in jail right now for powdered sugar, ” John Harrington thought after it happened.

We’ve also seen the case in which police mistook Jolly Ranchers for meth and jailed an innocent man. Love Olatunijojo, 25, and an unidentified friend purchased Jolly Ranchers at the It’Sugar candy emporium in Coney Island in June of 2013. Several blocks away, cops stopped and searched the friends and mistook the candies for crystal meth. Olatunijojo was then thrown in jail.

In August, we reported on the story of a man who was held in prison for over four months because police falsely identified salt as crystal meth.

And the list goes on…

What does it say about police departments across the country who knowingly use test kits that will implicate innocent people in a crime that they did not commit that will land them in jail?

It is bad enough that the state will kidnap, cage and kill people when they possess a substance deemed illegal by the state. But, when they kidnap, cage and kill people because of their own negligence involved in testing someone’s personal items — they stoop to an entirely new low.

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John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. John is currently battling cancer naturally, without any chemo or radiation, and will be working to help others through his experience, if you wish to contribute to his treatments please donate here.
  • doucyet

    It’s been proven that the majority of these test kits are faulty, yet they continue to use them. The lawsuits and appeals will be piling up!

  • Kountry Bumpkin

    LOL, I hope the litter had cat poop in it because just knowing that eventually some stupid SS member will try to smoke it makes my day.

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    • Tulov Wessman

      No, unfortunately it was clean kitty litter rolled up in a sock to prevent his windows from fogging up.
      It actually works, too.

  • Roderick Moore

    Why carry a 1/2lb of kitty litter in a zip-lock bag?

    • Ed

      The cat knows how to use the plastic bag!

    • bioarch1961

      Lot easier to carry than the 30 pound bag. I’ve done it myself.

    • It wasn’t in a zip-lock bag but in a pair of socks! They explained it can be used for de-fogging the car windows effectively and cheaply.

    • Hosea Mcadoo

      So what. They were arrested for meth not using socks. We used to have some freedoms and these people forgot we are no longer free.

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  • Guy

    There thinking must be like. If they can get even one conviction out of a hundred bad test, then that must be good police work !

    So what, in the long run, it cost them nothing, and if it goes bad, they again are out nothing, just you and me and our tax money are !

    I Think, it’s time like Trump says it is too, Drain The Swamp !!

  • David Hall

    Of course all of the cop shops know that their tests are garbage. That brings them more revenue in and puts more people in jail and the court system. It is called revenue generation by the state. You think those asshole low life, low IQ scumbags are laughing their ass off about that. There is no punishment for them either, they could care less. If someone sues, the taxpayer bites that too. Cops are a joke.

    • Mick Price

      Cops should be forced buy insurance to pay for the time innocent people spend in jail, both the State’s expense and compensation. If they can’t get insurance they should be forced to resign.

      • Tulov Wessman

        I do agree with you, to a point.
        However, I think that many officers are actually ignorant to many facts of their job (i.e. faulty test kits) and will go along with their departmental policy.
        If their policy states: “Positive test, certain amount, bring them in and book them!” then that’s what they will do. That is not the fault of the individual officer.

        However, I do believe that departments who wrongfully arrest someone (and I’m not talking about arresting someone and having charges dismissed or being found not guilty, but really wrongfully arresting) should have to pay damages AND personally have people dedicated to clearing that person’s good name including calling their employer, courts, etc.

        • Mick Price

          “However, I think that many officers are actually ignorant to many facts of their job (i.e. faulty test kits) and will go along with their departmental policy.”
          So why is that something that should excuse them? Doctors who are ignorant of facts they should know to do their job get sued. So do engineers, sanitation workers, everyone under the sun, plus nightwatchmen are expected to know what it takes to do their jobs.

          “If their policy states: “Positive test, certain amount, bring them in and book them!” then that’s what they will do. That is not the fault of the individual officer.”
          Yes it is. If you can’t be bothered to find out whether what you’re doing is negligent or not, that’s on you, not who made the policy.

          • Tulov Wessman

            Doctors do their job and are trained to know how to do operations.

            Test kits are a product, and are not made by the police.

            There’s a stark difference there.

          • Mick Price

            No there’s really not, if you use a product in your work and you are expected to find out if it works or not. A doctor who used anesthetic that tended to kill people would be held responsible if that could reasonably be found out. Part of work is knowing your tools and what they can do.

  • Hosea Mcadoo

    We are watching our Country die a painful death.

  • Ibcamn

    they knew the field tests were junk….there is a video showing that out of 10 kits…there was 10 false positives,another test shows the testers testing ”air” and it came up positive,they tested water,positive….i think out of 100 almost all were false positives…..those field tests are shit and every cop knows it…but they use it to get an arrest……..cops are pure criminals.

  • Ed

    As always, no apology or offer of compensation were forthcoming.

  • Mick Price

    Does kitty litter even LOOK like meth?

  • Steve Rusk

    Faulty drug tests, the perfect tool for use in a totalitarian society. After all it’s not about the actual guilt or innocence of the individual accused, it’s all about filling those prison beds and keeping the money rolling in.