HOUSTON — A Texas man says he is trying to clear his name after police confused cat litter with meth during a traffic stop.
Ross Lebeau, of Cypress, Texas, told KTRK-TV he was taken to jail in December after authorities thought they found almost half a pound of methamphetamine in his car.
Field tests even came back positive.
“They thought they had the biggest bust in Harris County,” Lebeau, 24, said. “This was the bust of the year for them.”
Last week the case was dismissed when the Institute of Forensic Science found that it wasn’t meth after all.
Lebeau says it was cat litter that had been stuffed in a sock. He says his dad left it in his car to keep the windows from fogging up.
Lebeau, who spent three days in jail before his release, says he has missed work and the incident has caused him significant embarrassment. “People have been calling me ‘kingpin’ or ‘drug lord’,” since news of the “bust” circulated online, he said.
Lebeau said he doesn’t blame the deputies, just the field tests, adding that he does want an apology.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office sent this statement to KTRK:
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped Mr. LeBeau for a traffic offense on December 5, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. During that initial stop the deputies detected a strong odor of Marijuana emitting from his vehicle. Mr. LeBeau was question and admitted to having marijuana in the console of his vehicle.
The drugs were recovered and in the process of inventorying his vehicle a substance was found wrapped in one sock in his vehicle. Mr. LeBeau was questioned about the contents at which time he indicated that he had no idea what it was. The deputies followed proper procedures and field tested the substance on two separate occasions which field tested positive for methamphetamines, notified the District Attorney’s Office who accepted charges for possession of controlled substance of 200 grams and Mr. LeBeau posted bond and was released.
During the investigation Mr. LeBeau failed to identify the substance and later, after being released indicated on social media that the substance was cat litter that he kept in a sock in his vehicle.
Regarding this incident all indication shows that the deputies followed basic procedures and followed established protocol related to this incident. Because of the established procedures in place and this contraband was submitted to the Institute of Forensic Science it was determined not to be methamphetamine and charges were dismissed.