Sunday, May 15, 2011
CHEESE LED TO FALSE RESULTS FOR COCAINE IN ASHEVILLE
ASHEVILLE - A favorite food of millions may have been the culprit in false
drug-test results that led to a California man's jailing on cocaine charges.
The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office said Friday an enzyme present in cheese
and possibly some types of dough appeared to have yielded false results that
led to cocaine charges against Antonio Hernandez Carranza. Hernandez spent
four days in the Buncombe County jail until state lab results showed the
substances in the back of his truck were tortilla dough, cheese and other
Buncombe Sheriff Van Duncan and Lt. Randy Sorrells said they only recently
learned how the common food can fool drug tests. Positive tests are
considered probable cause and can be used to bring charges and jail suspects
under high bonds, effectively keeping them imprisoned.
Along with revealing the test flaw, police are also now saying they will
reimburse Hernandez for $400 in food taken following his May 1 arrest.
The plight of the Mexican national, who is a legal resident but speaks
little English, angered Latino advocates and brought widespread attention to
the Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff said officials are trying to speak with the president of the
company of at least one of the test manufacturers.
"What we are going to do now is check with the manufacturers and find out
what they have found can cause false positives and put that into the
training with our officers," Duncan said.
Three different field tests indicated the presence of cocaine in food
Hernandez said was a gift for his sister in Johnson City, Tenn.
Already in jail under a $1,500 bond for failing to heed blue lights and
sirens and driving while intoxicated - a charge later dropped after a
breathalyzer test showed no alcohol - Hernandez was charged with cocaine
possession and his total bond raised to $300,000.
Deputies say they rushed the food to a state lab for a more definitive test,
where they soon learned there were no drugs involved. Hernandez was found
guilty of failing to heed lights and sirens and let go on time served.
Confused deputies later redid the tests, which rely on a color change, and
noticed that cheese set it off the most, as did the dough, to a lesser
extent, Sorrells said.
They then went to state lab technicians.
"They said, 'It's not common, but it is known. It's not the first time they
had ever heard of it," Sorrells said.
Deputies have contacted the manufacturers of the tests to try to get more
information, he said.
The sheriff, meanwhile, said his office would reimburse Hernandez for the
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
This is the story of Grandma, and her descent into the mystic prodded along by the DEA and Federal Prosecutors in the Northern District of Florida. Perhaps unwittingly and as they say - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you can't be followed.
Prosecutorial over Reach combined with Conspiracy laws grease the skids of our justice system and make many a government worker. from prosecutors to prison guards smile with the thought of life time job security.
This twilight was long in coming, but just before the year of our lord 2007 it commences and I sit beside Bijou. She is my mother and this is a filial duty that must be fulfilled, albeit in an ever more neglectful way. Her breath come in wisps and starts, and her eyes mist like a cloud of smoke. She has lost her past and enters an altzheimers unit in the beautiful protective assisted living Inn.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Prosecutor Misconduct, Tipping The Scales Of Justice
by F.A. Stephens (Author of Winning Habeas Corpus and Post Conviction Relief)
The constitution, Congress and courts have set elaborate rules to ensure jurors get the facts and aren’t swayed by emotion or fear. Rules are particularly exacting for prosecutors, as they act with governmental authority and their mistakes can put people in prison. One of those rules, established by the Supreme Court 40 years ago, is Brady v. Maryland, 397 U.S. 753 (1970). In Brady, the United States Supreme Court held that prosecutors must tell defendants about evidence that could help prove their innocence. Withholding evidence, the Court held violates due process, that is, the right to a fair trial. Many cases overturned are premised on this type of prosecutorial misconduct.