Police in Australia had a bit of a mare when a man was imprisoned for four months for possession of methamphetamine but then released after the cops discovered that the supposed ‘crystal meth’ was in fact salt.
It sounds like a rejected plotline from Breaking Bad but, after the substance was found in the Aussie man’s car in Queensland, he was detained by police for months while they carried out forensic tests.
Charges were ultimately dropped against the guy after the test results confirmed that the substance wasn’t drugs at all, it was actually Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate). Oops!
Although the length of the detainment was likely due to the man’s prior criminal charges, it still ranks as a pretty spectacular blunder and has earned Queensland’s Health’s Forensic and Scientific Services a fair bit of criticism.
A Maryborough magistrate, John Smith said:
For the last 14 years nothing has been done (about the delays). Once again the government needs to have a look at what they are doing in relation to this.