Man Released From Jail After Lab Test Determines ‘Drugs’ Were Actually Vitamins

By Brent McCluskey 02/23/15

Joseph Ray Burrell was arrested for a powdery substance that tested positive for amphetamines.

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A Minnesota man who was arrested for possession of amphetamines was released months later after a lab test of the substance determined it was nothing more than powdered vitamins. 

Joseph Ray Burrell, 31, was pulled over in Mankato last November for driving without his lights on. When police searched his vehicle they discovered a bag filled with a half-ounce of a powdered substance. Burrell claimed it was just vitamins, but a field drug test showed it contained amphetamines.

Burrell, who has previous drug-related convictions, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of drug possession. His bail was set at $250,000. Some encouraged him to plead guilty, but Burrell insisted the “drugs” were only vitamins.

“I told the judge I couldn’t plead guilty to something I knew wasn’t a drug,” Burrell said.

It took nearly a month for prosecutors to send a sample of the powdered substance to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime lab, and another month for the lab to process the results. When they finally came back, Burrell was filled with mixed emotions.

“I was furious, I was hot, I was pissed off,” Burrell said. “At the same time it was like, unbelievable.”

Burrell said the vitamins were prescribed by a doctor for shoulder pain.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.