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Man with laundry detergent spends over a month in jail for heroin possession, freed after drug test was faked


A 29-year-old Florida man spent 41 days in jail after being arrested with 92 grams of heroin in his car. He said it was laundry detergent.

Now, the deputy who put him behind bars is out of a job.

Martin County Deputy Steven O’Leary has been fired after being accused of faking drug tests for at least 11 people, all of who have now been released from jail, according to TC Palm.

Among them was Matt Crull, who spent the holidays locked up after O’Leary found a plastic bag of a white powder, secured with a hair tie, in the driver’s side door of his van.

Crull insisted the 92 grams of powder was Tide laundry detergent.

“(It’s) very surreal when you’re sitting in jail with a half a million dollars bond,” he told WPBF, “and you can’t go anywhere knowing that you didn’t do wrong.”

Maxwell Tatum, Nicole McCrocy, Michael Lauderdale, Melissa Morales, Jabari Schweitzer, Yener Lopez, Gomez Rodriguez, Jason Farrenkoph, Ashley Michalski and Marialys Perez were also released from jail.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said Monday that all 11 had their charges dropped.

“It’s better that 100 guilty people go free than one innocent person goes to jail,” he said, according to TC Palm. “Our goal is always justice, and there was more than enough reasonable doubt on our part on all those arrests that we would not have left anyone in jail one more minute.”

The department is still investigating the rest of O’Leary’s cases, Snyder said.

He does not currently face any criminal charges.

It’s unclear why O’Leary’s arrests were initially investigated, and a spokesperson for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment.

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