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article imageNYPD officers mistake Jolly Ranchers for crystal meth

By Michael Thomas     Oct 19, 2013 in Crime
Brooklyn - A 25-year-old Brooklyn man is suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) for unspecified monetary damages after being confined for suspected crystal meth possession. The "meth" turned out to be ordinary Jolly Ranchers.
Love Olatunjiojo and a friend bought the pack of Jolly Ranchers at the It'Sugar candy emporium on Coney Island last June. Several blocks latter, officers stopped and searched the two, the New York Daily Post reports.
According to the lawsuit, officers told Olatunjiojo that it was “only a matter of time before they found something,” and that Officer Jermaine Taylor said he ran a field test to determine if they were narcotics and got a "positive" result. The two were charged with drug possession.
The Smoking Gun reports that a third man was also arrested for interfering with police when he defended the friends, saying "It's candy!"
Officers then ran the two "red crystalline rocks of solid material" and four "blue crystalline rocks of solid material" through a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis at the NYPD lab. Two days later, the results showed no illegal material.
“I don’t know if these cops have been watching Breaking Bad, but my client is not Walter White,” said Kenneth Smith, Olatunjiojo's lawyer. Smith filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Brooklyn's federal court.
Mike Levine, a former US Drug Enforcement Administration agent, said that while he can't comment on why officers chose to stop Olatunjiojo, he did say that crystal meth and Jolly Ranchers look alike. He said that one particular variety is made to resemble Pop Rocks.
In the lawsuit, Olatunjiojo says that his false arrest, strip search and unlawful imprisonment led to personal "emotional trauma" and "severe mental pain and anguish."
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