Man's meth arrest dismissed because he didn't have meth, he says

Jessica Willey Image
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Man cleared on drug charges after police thought cat litter was meth
Man cleared on drug charges after police thought cat litter was meth, Jessica Willey reports.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Cypress man, wrongly accused of being a meth dealer, is now working to clear his name.

Ross Lebeau, 24, was charged with possessing almost half a pound of methamphetamine. Harris County Sheriff's Office (HSCO) deputies found what they thought to the drug inside Lebeau's car in early December. Two field tests yielded positive results.

"They thought they had the biggest bust in Harris County. This was the bust of the year for them," Lebeau told Eyewitness News.

Lebeau had his mug shot and fingerprints taken and was booked into jail. His arrest was the subject of a news release from HSCO that read it "may have kept our children and loves ones free from being introduced to drugs."

On Wednesday, the case was dismissed because it was determined the "drugs" were not a controlled substance.

He says it was actually cat litter that was originally inside a sock. He says his father left one in his car and gave another to his sister who brought it to the ABC13 interview. It's supposed to keep the windows from fogging up.

Lebeau and his attorney do not blame the deputies for the ordeal, rather the field tests.

"Ultimately it might be bad budget-cutting testing equipment they need to re-evaluate," said George Reul, who added prosecutors practically laughed when he told them it was cat litter.

"I would like an apology," said Lebeau.

He says the accusation has caused him to lose work, not to mention the embarrassment. He will work to expunge his record.

"I was wrongly accused and I'm going to do everything in my power, with my family's backing, to clear my name," he said.

Harris County Sheriff's Office Statement:

The Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped Mr. LeBeau for a traffic offense on December 5, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. During that initial stop the deputies detected a strong odor of Marijuana emitting from his vehicle. Mr. LeBeau was question and admitted to having marijuana in the console of his vehicle.

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.

Related Topics