Jamaican man bringing HONEY to the US is detained for 82 days after authorities mistakenly thought it was liquid meth and he got out of jail while tests were being conducted
- Leon Haughton, 45, was arrested on December 29 when he flew into Baltimore after visiting his family for Christmas in Jamaica
- Haughton, who has lived in Maryland for 10 years, bought three bottles of honey from his favorite roadside stand to take back
- The agents told him that they suspected him of transporting liquid methamphetamine after a dog sniffed his bag
- It took more than two weeks for testing and they returned negative before being sent to another laboratory for further testing
- The charge was withdrawn and he was released on March 21 after being released for 82 days
- Haughton believes he was a stereotype because of his race because agents asked him if he was in a Jamaican gang
A Jamaican citizen was detained in the US for almost three months after bringing three bottles of honey from the Caribbean island that customs officials mistakenly thought was liquid methamphetamine.
Leon Haughton, who has lived in Maryland for 10 years, had returned for Christmas to visit his family in Jamaica.
The 45-year-old had bought three bottles of honey from his favorite roadside stand to take with him.
His long ordeal began on December 29 when he landed at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and customs agents sniffed a dog at his bags.
He assumed the dogs had sniffed the KFC chicken in his bag, but was surprised when agents grabbed the three bottles of honey he used to sweeten his tea.
Leon Haughton, who has lived in Maryland for 10 years, was detained after he flew in from Jamaica when the authorities suspected that his honey was actually liquid methamphetamine
The agents told him that they suspected him of transporting liquid methamphetamine.
& # 39; I am 100 percent sure I have no drugs. I only have honey, & Haughton remembers the agents, according to the Washington Post.
He fainted after they took him into custody and he was taken to jail.
Haughton and his lawyer Terry Morris believe he was stereotyped because of his race.
They said he was being interrogated while in custody of a & # 39; large Jamaican gang and drug conspiracy & # 39 ;.
The laboratory results from Maryland took more than two weeks to arrive and they returned negative.
The authorities then sent the bottles to a second laboratory in Georgia after the first was insufficiently equipped to analyze the liquids.
Although he had a green card that allowed him to legally reside in the US, the arrest of Haughton triggered a detention process with immigration.
The 45-year-old had bought three bottles of honey (above) from his favorite roadside stall to take back from Jamaica. They were seized when he flew back to Baltimore after authorities suspected they had been peppered with liquid methamphetamine
His lawyer had great difficulty contacting the immigration authorities, since the government was partially closed.
The tests in Georgia meanwhile finally confirmed that Haughton was indeed transporting honey.
The charges were withdrawn and he was released on March 21 after 82 days released.
Haughton could not work for three months and far from his six children. He lost his two jobs as a cleaning lady and construction worker.
& # 39; They have ruined my life, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; I want the world to know that the system is wrong. If I didn't have strong people around me, they would probably leave me in prison. You are lost in the system. & # 39;
& # 39; I'm scared to even travel now. You are innocent and you can end up in jail. & # 39;
US Customs and Border Protection said that privacy laws prohibited them from commenting on individual cases.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor's office said that no office had made mistakes regarding the arrest of Haughton.
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