Thinking It Was Cocaine, N.C. Police Jail Man For Cheese And Tortilla Dough

Antonio Hernandez Carranza had what pretty much anyone would agree is four unfortunate days. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports on Hernandez's spate of bad luck and string of misunderstandings:

— First, says Hernandez, he doesn't realize he was being stopped by police while driving on I-240. He thought they were asking him to move so he switched lanes and kept going at slower speed.

— Police deploy stop sticks to flatten his tires and force him stop him.

— Hernandez is arrested for failing to heed lights and sirens and driving while intoxicated.

— A breathalyzer test finds no alcohol in Hernandez, so that charge is dropped.

— Police test 91 pounds of cheese and tortilla dough that Hernandez said were a gift for his sister and find that it tests positive for cocaine.

— Hernandez's bail is upped from $1,500 to $300,000 after he was charged with cocaine possession.

— After four days in jail and after police sent the dough and cheese for further tests at a state lab, they find that the cheese and dough were really just cheese and dough. Some enzymes in the cheese tend to give off false positives in the portable field tests used by police.

The Citizen-Times reports Hernandez is free now and police have given him $400 to cover the loss of his dough. Hernandez told the paper that's not enough money to cover his damaged tires or the impound fees for his truck.



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