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Mankato Man Jailed For 3 Months On Mistaken Drug Charges

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Mankato man says he sat in jail for months on drug charges only to find out there was no evidence against him.

Police arrested 31-year-old Joseph Burrell in November for two felony counts of drug possession.

It turns out what appeared to be an illegal substance were really just vitamins.

It started in the parking lot of this grocery store in Mankato as Joseph Burrell was stopped by police for driving without his lights on.

The Blue Earth County attorney's office says a bag of powder was found in Burrell's car. A field test was positive for amphetamine.

Police took him to the county jail, where he stayed behind bars for almost three months.

But a more accurate lab test done in the crime lab of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension showed the bag of powder found in Burrell's car didn't contain anything illegal.

Burrell says he's not happy it took so long for the BCA to process the evidence. The Mankato Free Press says charges were dismissed just as Burrell was about to go to trial early this month.

Burrell had just completed a stay at a drug treatment center when police stopped him. He does have a long criminal history that includes drug charges as well as domestic assault, stalking, and kidnapping charges.

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