A Texas man has been cleared of drug possession charges after authorities say they mistook kitty litter in his car for methamphetamine.
Ross Lebeau was arrested last month, fingerprinted and had his mugshot taken after cops say he admitted to having marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.
However, cops apparently weren't as interested in the green stuff after they say a field test of a substance they discovered in a sock in Lebeau's car came back positive for meth.
The bewildered 24-year-old was charged with possession of a controlled substance of 200 grams, a big bust for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, who even released a statement boasting they "may have kept our children and loves ones free from being introduced to drugs."
As it turned out, they only discovered what was keeping Lebeau's windshield free of fog.
Lebeau told KTRK the kitty litter was placed in a sock and left in his car by his father to prevent the glass from fogging up.
Lebeau's attorney, George Reul, blamed the method used for field testing the alleged drugs, not police ineptitude.
"Ultimately it might be bad budget-cutting testing equipment they need to re-evaluate," said Reul.
Nonetheless, Lebeau said he wants an apology as he seeks to clear his name after all charges related to the arrest were dismissed.
In their defense, the folks at the Harris County Sheriff's Office say Lebeau told them he had no idea what was in the suspect sock.
The office write in a statement:
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.