A Minnesota man was arrested for possessing drugs. Joseph Burrell, a 31-year-old resident of Mankato, was kept in jail for months while the state crime lab ran tests, eventually revealing the supposed-drugs were actually just vitamins.
Burrell was arrested in November, and his bail set at $250,000. Now released, he is understandably not happy that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took so long to relieve him of the drug possession charges.
Blue Earth County assistant attorney Chris Rovney told MPR News that Burrell’s field test was positive for methamphetamine. The lab test taken by the BCA, described as “more accurate,” revealed that the bag of white powder found in Burrell’s car contained nothing illegal.
Charges against Burrell were dismissed in early February just as he was scheduled to go to trial for his charges.
Burrell — who acknowledged that he had used drugs in the past, but that he had also just finished in-patient treatment at the New Beginnings drug treatment center in nearby Waverly — insisted that the substance was not illegal, and that he had purchased it to deal with a chronically sore shoulder.
He told the Mankato Free Press that he was pressured to plead guilty, but he “couldn’t plead guilty [to possessing] something I knew wasn’t a drug. They set my bail at $250,000 for vitamins.”