Things That Matter

This Innocent Man’s Life Is In Ruins After Police Jailed Him For Smuggling Meth, Turns Out It Was Just Honey

All too often travel can be a very stressful experience. There’s the whole act of flying itself which for many is downright terrifying. Then you’re either rushing and still end up late or having to waste a couple of hours in an airport trying not to blow all your cash on an $8 bottle of water. Factor in traffic to and from the airport and having to pack and wait in line after line – yea, traveling can kind of suck sometimes.

But for one Maryland man, his last trip was at a whole other level of stressful and it turned into three months of absolute chaos. 

You see, on his return trip from Jamaica he was accused of flying with liquid meth.

Leon Haughton, who has lived in Maryland for 10 years, had gone back to visit his family in Jamaica over Christmas.

The 45-year-old had bought three bottles of honey from his favorite roadside stand to bring back with him.

His long ordeal started on December 29 when he landed back at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and customs agents had a dog sniff his bags. He assumed the dogs had sniffed the KFC chicken he had in his bag but was surprised when agents seized the three bottles of honey he uses to sweeten his tea.

The agents told him they suspected him of transporting liquid methamphetamine.

‘I’m 100 percent sure I don’t have drugs. I only have honey,’ Haughton recalls telling the agents, according to the Washington Post.  He fainted after they placed him in detention and he was taken to jail. 

While the authorities waited for test results, Haughton languished in jail for 82 days.

Haughton and his attorney Terry Morris believe he was stereotyped because of his race. They said he was questioned while in custody about a ‘big Jamaican gang and drug dealing conspiracy’.

The laboratory results from Maryland took more than two weeks to arrive and they came back negative.  Authorities then sent the bottles to a second laboratory in Georgia after the first was judged to be insufficiently equipped to analyze the liquids.

Although he had a green card granting him legal residence in the U.S., Haughton’s arrest set in motion a detention process with immigration. Since Houghton is not a U.S. citizen, the arrest put him at risk of being deported – not to mention the stress his family endured as they waited for his release.

The tests in Georgia, meanwhile, finally confirmed that Haughton was indeed transporting honey. The charges were dropped and he was freed on March 21 after 82 days in custody.

Call me naive but I didn’t even know liquid meth was a thing.

According to officials, liquid meth is a fairly new form of methamphetamine. Meth will be liquified and placed into familiar bottles (usually just for easier transport) and then the liquid will be boiled away leaving pure meth for the user.

For Houghton, this whole ordeal has cost him his livelihood.

Unable to work for three months and far from his six children, Haughton lost his two jobs as a cleaner and construction worker.

‘They messed up my life,’ he said. ‘I want the world to know that the system is not right. If I didn’t have strong people around me, they would probably leave me in jail. You’re lost in the system.’

‘I’m scared to even travel right now. You’re innocent, and you can end up in jail.’

OK, so the cops totally got this wrong but there actually have been cases of people smuggling in liquid meth.

Just this past May, a Border Patrol agent and his canine partner assigned to the Sierra Blanca Border Patrol Station seized approximately 118 pounds of liquid methamphetamine, worth almost four million dollars. The drugs were loaded into plastic bottles and transported over the border.

Meanwhile in Australia, smugglers are trying to sneak in liquid meth inside of snow globes.

I mean we obviously don’t condone trafficking in drugs, but I will say that’s a very creative method.

But many on Twitter were shocked at the apparent mismanagement of the entire situation.

Eventually, the charges were dropped, though officials have yet to apologize to Houghton for leaving his life in ruins. He has since lost his job as a cleaner and watched his credit score dramatically decrease due to the bills that piled up. Friends have even cut off contact.

“My kids are stressed out, my mom. Everybody was stressed out over everything. It’s a lot of stuff I’m going through,” he said. “Nobody contacted me. Nobody tell me sorry, nobody do nothing.”

Customs and Border Protection officials simply told NBC Washington that they are “reviewing procedures” while providing no information. Houghton still has not been issued an apology despite his story prompting massive outrage on social media.

With one Twitter user, @boerneman, saying “It should have never taken 82 days to do the second test to confirm what the substance was. He should file a federal civil rights lawsuit against all involved. This is a prime example of  incompetence and mismanagement.”

“He lost his 2 jobs. There’s No compensation for losing his jobs, jailed for 82 days … for NOTHING. The 3 bottles were indeed HONEY never Liquid Meth. The man got his credit messed up. It Never takes 82 freaking days to get Honey tested. The miscarriage of Justice against POC,” said another user.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

CBP Arrests A 16-Year-Old After Catching Them Using A Remote Control Car To Smuggling Drugs Across The Border

Things That Matter

CBP Arrests A 16-Year-Old After Catching Them Using A Remote Control Car To Smuggling Drugs Across The Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Kids are inventive. They are smart and always looking for a new way to show off their brilliant minds. Need proof? Did you not hear about the little 8-year-old Mexican girl who has a higher IQ than that of Albert Einstein? Or how about the 16-year-old that graduated from Harvard University? That innovative way of thinking isn’t always a good thing. Just because a kid figures out how to do something, doesn’t mean they should actually do it. We say this with kindness because as psychologists note, people’s brains aren’t fully formed until they are 25. So, they won’t always make rational decisions. On that note, please excuse the following teenager. 

Border agents apprehended a 16-year-old boy who used a remote-controlled car to transport methamphetamine across the border. 

Credit: @naijnews / Twitter

On Nov. 17, at about 12:30 a.m., agents noticed a person with two duffel bags. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that agents followed the individual and discovered that he was a teenager and was also in possession of meth and a remote-controlled car. But how much can a toy car carry anyway? It is tiny, after all.

Agents reportedly detained 50 packages of methamphetamine or about 55.84 pounds of meth that has an estimated street value of $106,096. 

Credit: @kamrlocal4news / Twitter

It wasn’t that long ago that tunnels were discovered at the U.S.-Mexico border and were believed to be used for drug trafficking into the U.S. The arrest by CBP shows the extent and complexity of which drugs are getting across the U.S.-Mexico border. The teenager was able to fit the drug on the remote control car because he had altered the car by removing the top. The drugs fit on the undercarriage of the car to be transported in and out of the U.S. and Mexico on what looks more like a remote control skateboard.

It’s hard to think that this teenage boy was acting alone on either side of the border. His identity has not been revealed since he is underage. 

Credit: @hmuller61 / Twitter

The teen was arrested in San Diego, so someone was clearly on one side bringing the meth to the toy car while the boy waited on the other side. But the report doesn’t specify if the kid was transporting the meth to Mexico or bringing meth into the U.S. 

San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison stated, “I am extremely proud of the agents’ heightened vigilance and hard work in stopping this unusual smuggling scheme.”

People on social media gave the kid props for using his clever skills of using a remote-controlled car.

Credit: @MoparGirl71 / Twitter

I respect their game,” one person said on Twiter. “This is innovation lowkey lol” another said. “And they say kids aren’t learning anything in school these days…” They have a point there. 

Others chastised the kid for not thinking things through all the way. “Well, he got caught so he’s not that smart.”  Others pointed out the inventive way this kid beat the so-called wall system that President Donald Trump wants to implement, “But isn’t the wall stopping all the drugs coming in!!”

This is not the first time border agents have detained people of transporting drugs through inventive means.

 Credit: @GinaAHarkins / Twitter

In 2017, another San Diego male, this time a 25-year-old used a drone to transport several pounds of methamphetamine across the border. According to a press release by CBP Public Affairs“An agent on an all-terrain vehicle spotted a male suspect at about 11:40 p.m. near the border at Servano Avenue and Valentino Street. The agent approached the man and discovered that he possessed a large open bag that had multiple plastic-wrapped packages containing methamphetamine. After the agent arrested the man, a search of the immediate area was conducted, leading to the discovery of a drone that was concealed under a bush. The drone was approximately two feet in height.”

In that drug bust, the amount the smuggler was caught with 13.44 pounds, which has an estimated street value of $46,000. So that’s only a fraction of what the teen boy had obtained. 

While some may speculate this issue is proof that the United States needs a stronger border, people will find ways to transport drugs. Until both the U.S. and the Mexico governments address that their drug problem is everyone’s problem none of these issues will ever end. 

READ: This Innocent Man’s Life Is In Ruins After Police Jailed Him For Smuggling Meth, Turns Out It Was Just Honey

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

South Dakota Won’t Change Their ‘Meth, We’re On It’ Anti-Drug Campaign

Things That Matter

South Dakota Won’t Change Their ‘Meth, We’re On It’ Anti-Drug Campaign

OnMeth.com

South Dakota revealed its new anti-drug campaign, complete with a new slogan that rolls right off the tongue: “Meth, we’re on it.” The phrase is supposed to be clever, at least that’s what Governor Kristi Noem probably hoped. “We’re on it,” is meant to suggest the state is on curbing the use of the drug, but instead the advertisements which feature the slogan with zero context, and tell the viewer to visit www.OnMeth.com, might give the wrong impression. 

The tagline was inevitably roasted and criticized on Twitter. Noem doubled-down on the campaign suggesting that the backlash was evidence it worked because people were talking about it or as some would say, “haters is how you know you’re shining,” — truly a governing principle of our politics these days. 

North Dakota unleashed the ironic anti-drug campaign and Twitter snapped.

The campaign cost $449,000 of taxpayer money, some of which was paid to Broadhead Co. the ad agency that came up with the tagline, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. The intention is to bring attention to the state’s meth epidemic using television ads, billboards, and posters, along with the website. The photo ads feature all kinds of people, including children, saying, “I’m on meth.” The same phrase is repeated in a television ad as well. It is hard not to laugh no matter how serious the issue is.  

 “[The campaign will create] a movement for all South Dakotans to take an active role in keeping their state a great place to live,” according to the proposal by Broadhead.

As soon as the campaign launched plenty of people on Twitter started having fun with it.

Some Twitter users created some “new” anti-drug campaigns for South Dakota with ironic phrases like, “Heroin. We’re up in arms,” and “MDMA. We feel you.” 

Other users “blamed the intern.”

Others roasted the fact that South Dakota even trademarked the phrase.

Regardless of how funny, Noem stands by the campaign and considers all the jokes a part of its success story. 

Governor Noem defends “Meth. We’re on it.”

“Meth is IN SD. Twitter can make a joke of it, but when it comes down to it – Meth is a serious problem in SD. We are here to Get. It. OUT,” Noem tweeted. 

South Dakota has struggled to address the growing meth epidemic in the state where 12 to 17-year-olds use meth at rates higher than the national average. Noem requested over $1 million in funding to expand meth treatment services and $730,000 for school-based preventions. 

“South Dakota’s anti-meth campaign launch is sparking conversations around the state and the country,” Noem told the Washington Post. “The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness — to get people talking about how they can be part of the solution and not just the problem. It is working.”

In the state, meth use isn’t just a public health issue it is also a criminal justice matter that has seen many South Dakotans imprisoned. Some state officials are notably enthusiastic about it. 

“The campaign is inclusive and empowering and establishes a movement for all South Dakotans to take an active role in keeping our state a great place to live,” Laurie Gill, head of the state’s Department of Social Services, said in a statement. “We’re encouraging everyone to work together to eliminate meth.”

However, there are some serious detractors of the campaign efficacy. 

Assistant Dean at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of business was critical of the slogan.

“I can’t imagine this is what they intended to do; any good marketer would look at this and say: ‘Yeah, let’s not do that,’” Pearce told the Washington Post. “I’m sure South Dakota residents don’t like being laughed at. That’s what’s happening right now.”

Pearce was skeptical of the campaign’s ability to reach the intended person, even if it does go viral on the internet. 

“This is not about trying to find people in the tough parts of town that are hiding from society and using meth,” he said. “This is about telling everyone in the state: ‘I know we’ve got a problem, and I’m addressing it.’ Nobody thought about the ramifications. The Twitter reactions are hysterical.”

Associate Professor for advertising at Syracuse University Beth Egan voiced similar reservations recognizing that regardless of the ad’s intention people are going to dictate how its interpreted. 

“One of the things that struck me is, obviously everyone gets the play on words, they’re trying a twist. But what they’re missing is that advertisers no longer have control over the conversation. You need to be mindful of how consumers are gonna take it and run with it in their own way, Egan said.  

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com