A Maryland man plans to take legal action against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after he was forced to spend 82 days in jail when the jars of honey he was traveling with were mistaken for liquid meth.
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According to CNN, Leon Haughton was flying back from Jamaica to Baltimore last year when he was arrested at BWI Airport on December 29.
Each of the three bottles, which the 46-year-old father of six said he purchased on the side of a road in Jamaica, tested positive for methamphetamine in a field test. Haughton was subsequently arrested and charged with importing a controlled substance into the state and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
Despite a second test revealing nothing but nectar in the containers, he remained in custody until March when another lab test found no signs of drugs.
Haughton said the error cost him two jobs and destroyed his life. “Once I came out, all my insurances collapsed, my credit was destroyed,” he told WJLA. “I lost my job, everything. They just left me a mess.”
However, the prosecutor’s office defended its actions, noting that “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.”
#LeonHaughton found himself detained for 82 days on suspected smuggling of liquid meth where the substance was… honey. pic.twitter.com/1i94CrilMh
— Brian G. Buckmire, Esq. (@BuckEsq) August 23, 2019
CBP has since offered to give the honey back but Haughton has no interest, telling The Washington Post that he’s “scared to even travel right now.”
His lawyer Terry Morris said lawsuits are “imminent.”