Why a Jamaican man was jailed for 82 days over inaccurate test results on honey

Why a Jamaican man was jailed for 82 days over inaccurate test results on honey

By Anna-Lysa Gayle, ABC7

When K-9s started sniffing Leon Haughton’s suitcase, at Baltimore Washington International Airport, he thought they detected the delicious meal he brought back from his birthplace Jamaica.

“I had some KFC chicken in the suitcase,” Haughton said.

He was shocked when Customs and Border Protection seized three bottles of honey instead.

“I saw them come and handcuff me and take me away from my suitcase, so I said ‘what’s your problem?’ said Haughton in patois.

CBP says Haughton was arrested after the honey tested positive for drugs.

“They said I was charged with methamphetamine, so I said ‘what is meth?’ he said.

That test then led to 82 days at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, starting on December 30th.

Confusion over his immigration status, as a green card holder, made it more difficult to get out of the sticky situation.

But a second test, in a Georgia lab, found that there were no drugs present in the honey – which meant that all charges were eventually dropped.

“A specially trained drug-sniffing dog was alerted to the presence of a controlled dangerous substance and a preliminary test done by the police officers further tested positive for a controlled dangerous substance. The confirmatory laboratory test showed there was no controlled dangerous substance inside the honey,” said a spokesperson for the Anne Arundel State’s Attorneys Office.

“My kids were stressed out, my mom, everybody. They put me through hell. Once I came out, all my insurances collapsed, my credit was destroyed, I lost my job, everything. They just left me a mess,” he said.

The father of six says he is now living at a Days Inn, as he struggles to make ends meet.

He lost two jobs, while he sat in jail for nearly three months.

“Even when they let me out, they didn’t reach out to me and say sorry,” he said.

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