NYPD cops confused Jolly Rancher candies for crystal meth: suit
Nydailynews.com, October 17, 2013
Love Olantunjiojo, 25, was detained for around 24 hours after police found the sweets on him and a friend, the lawsuit says. The results from the NYPD lab found the red and blue 'crystalline rocks of solid material' were not a controlled substance, but Jolly Ranchers, the suit alleges.
This drug bust went sour.
NYPD cops nabbed a Brooklyn man for possession of crystal meth but the drugs turned out to be a handful of perfectly legal Jolly Rancher candies, a lawsuit says.
The cop who arrested Love Olatunjiojo confidently stated in the criminal affidavit that he had professional training in the identification of methamphetamine.
He might need a refresher course.
“I don’t know if these cops have been watching ‘Breaking Bad,’ but my client is not Walter White,” said lawyer Kenneth Smith, who filed the suit Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Olatunjiojo, 25, and an unidentified friend had purchased the sweets at the It’Sugar candy emporium on Surf Ave. in Coney Island last June.
Several blocks away, the two were stopped by Officer Jermaine Taylor and several other cops who searched the men.
The cops told Olatunjiojo, who ended up being detained for 24 hours, it was “only a matter of time before they found something,” according to the complaint.
Taylor also claimed that he administered a field test to determine if the candy was narcotics and got a “positive” result, the complaint states.
Two “red crystalline rocks of solid material” and four “blue crystalline rocks of solid material” were then subjected to a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis at the NYPD lab.
Two days later the results were in — Jolly Ranchers, not a controlled substance, Smith said.
The Brooklyn district attorney’s office waited until Sept. 19 to seek dismissal of the charges against Olatunjiojo and his unidentified friend, who was also arrested with the hard candy.
A spokeswoman for the city Law Department said they were awaiting service of the court papers and would look into the allegations.
Mike Levine, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, said he couldn’t comment on what suspicion led the cops to stop Olatunjiojo, but pointed out that crystal meth and Jolly Rancher candies look a lot alike.
“Crystal meth is produced in all kinds of colors,” Levine said. ‘There’s a type that’s going around that looks like strawberry Pop Rocks candy.
“Dope dealers will disguise their product in any way you can imagine,” he added.
A search of the Internet for “meth candy” turns up numerous recipes to make blue rock candy like the stuff used in the wildly popular “Breaking Bad” TV show.
Olatunjiojo is seeking unspecified monetary damages for the 24 hours or so he spent in police custody and court detention for a misdemeanor drug charge.
Olatunjiojo, who declined to comment, claims he suffered emotional distress as a result of the alleged false arrest, illegal search and seizure and false imprisonment.