- A Florida man was arrested in December and spent a month in jail on charges of heroin possession. However, the substance in question was actually powdered laundry detergent.
- Matt Crull told ABC-affiliated WYFF 4 that it was “surreal when you’re sitting in jail with a half a million dollars bond, and you can’t go anywhere knowing that you didn’t do wrong.”
- Crull was one of 11 people arrested on charges of a crime they didn’t commit.
- Deputy Steven O’Leary of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests. He has been fired.
- The 11 people are now out of jail.
A Florida man was arrested in December and spent a month in jail on charges of heroin possession. However, the substance in question was actually powdered laundry detergent, as ABC-affiliated WYFF 4 reported.
On December 5, Matt Crull pulled into a KFC parking lot, according to WPTV. Shortly thereafter, Deputy Steven O’Leary of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office approached his car. O’Leary reportedly found a white powdery substance in the vehicle, which he said declared to be heroin after a field test, WPTV reported.
Crull was arrested on charges of heroin possession and drug trafficking. The 28-year-old spent the next 41 days in the county jail.
“[It is] very surreal when you’re sitting in jail with a half a million dollars bond, and you can’t go anywhere knowing that you didn’t do wrong,” he told WYFF 4.
While he was in jail, further testing on the substance revealed that it was not heroin, but powdered laundry detergent, WYFF reports.
Crull told WPTV that the powder was not his. About three weeks before his arrest, he bought the vehicle, an Astro van, for $US1,400. It didn’t make sense to him that the previous owner would have left behind 92 grams of heroin in the driver’s side door, as O’Leary said was the case.
“I just looked at him baffled and confused because I had no idea as to where 92 grams of heroin came from inside my van,” Crull told WPTV of the moment of his arrest.
Crull is one of 11 people that O’Leary arrested on false charges, per Treasure Coast Newspapers. All 11 people have been released from jail. According to WYFF 4, all of Deputy O’Leary’s previous arrests, which total to over 80, are being reviewed. It’s unclear at this time how he fabricated the false test results.
O’Leary has since been fired, but he has not faced criminal charges himself, according to Treasure Coast News. Crull hopes there is some restorative justice.
“I’m not saying he ruined my life but he definitely caused me a lot of emotional distress and a lot of stress on my family,” he told WYFF 4.
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