Iowa Man Exonerated After Shoddy Paperwork Lands His Home On Federal Watchlist Of Meth Labs
Shoddy paperwork landed an Iowa man’s home on a federal watchlist of possible drug labs two years ago. Now, finally, the Drug Enforcement Agency is correcting that mistake.
Paul Valin’s home was added to the list simply because he turned in a backpack he found along the Des Moines River that contained meth-making materials. Unfortunately, the Des Moines Police Department filed a 2012 report with the DEA that didn’t include how Valin found the backpack. The report simply stated that meth-making materials were found at Valin’s address.
After two years, Valin’s home was removed from the National Clandestine Laboratory Register. The NCLR website says neither the Department of Justice nor the DEA is responsible for the accuracy of information on the site. They compile information from clandestine laboratory reports filed by local law enforcement.
Valin had no success getting his home removed from the site on his own.
The investigative group Iowa Watchdog contacted the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center, which compiles the NCLR. They provided the NCLR with the police report on the case.
Within 72 hours, Valin’s home was removed from the registry.
“It does restore your faith a little,” Valin told Iowa Watchdog. “But it does make you wonder how many other mistakes there might be on the list.”