Minnesota Man Spends Months In Jail On Drug Charges For Vitamin Powder

| by Michael Allen

Joseph Burrell spent months in jail for allegedly possessing amphetamines, which turned out to be a powdery vitamin.

Ironically, Burrell had recently completed an in-patient drug treatment plan before he was stopped in Mankato, Minnesota, for an alleged traffic violation on Nov. 14, 2014. During that stop, a police officer searched his car.

It's not clear why it took prosecutors a month to send the powder to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) crime lab, which took another month to test the substance and send back the results.

Burrell was supposed to go on trial for two felony counts of drug possession when prosecutors suddenly released him on Feb. 4.

"I had been sitting in the jail since November with my bail set at $250,000," Burrell told the Mankato Free Press. "Then, two days before trial, they dropped the charges and let me go."

Chris Rovney, assistant Blue Earth County attorney, claimed that a police officer field tested the powder, which came back positive for amphetamines, but the BCA test contradicted that finding, noted the Associated Press.

In reality, the powder was a vitamin for Burrell's sore shoulder.

"I told the judge I couldn't plead guilty to something I knew wasn't a drug," added Burrell. "They set my bail at $250,000 for vitamins."

Burrell is also accused of selling meth in Mankato and possessing a large amount of meth in Le Sueur County, but the only witness is a suspected drug dealer.

Sources: Mankato Free Press, Associated Press
Image Credit: Bmwrider1