Six Months for Letting Grandma Do His Laundry

The Guardian reports that Juan Rodríguez, a Panamanian doctor, recently spent six months in a Spanish prison because border guards claimed his clothing smelled funny and tested positive for cocaine. Police concluded he was "a drugs mule who had soaked his clothes in a cocaine solution with the intention of smuggling them through customs and removing the drug later." Rodríguez, who was visiting Spain for a three-month training program at a Madrid hospital, was released when police finally got around to doing a second, confirmatory test on the clothing, which showed the original results were mistaken. His lawyer comments:

It was a Kafkaesque situation. And if it can happen to him, then it could happen to any of us. Obviously this raises questions about the system they use for testing in the airport, as well as why the second test took so long and how such a well-respected person could be treated this way.

The Guardian is hazy on the chemistry underlying the false positive, but it notes that the doctor lives with his grandmother, who "washes his clothes, irons them with starch and stores them in drawers stuffed with mothballs."

More on the perils of fallible drug tests here and here.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

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  • ||

    And what are the mothballs made of?

  • Jose||

    Naphthalene

  • BakedPenguin||

    Damn treaty! TUK ARR JERBZ!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Jokes aside, this might be what did it. Naphthalene has two benzene rings, and alkaloids like cocaine have at least one.

    Still, that would have to be one crappy test.

  • Almanian||

    Moths. Duh!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Moth testes, Almanian.

  • Abdul||

    The Guardian is hazy on the chemistry underlying the false positive, but it notes that the doctor lives with his grandmother, who "washes his clothes, irons them with starch and stores them in drawers stuffed with mothballs."

    Lives with grandmother? So he's an Italian doctor living in Panama?

  • Bee Tagger||

    Lives with grandmother? So he's an Italian doctor living in Panama?

    If I'm to believe humorous traditional media journalists, he's gotta be a blogger.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    An Italian blogger.

  • Rhywun||

    "Obviously this raises questions about the system blah blah blah..."

    As long as it doesn't cause anyone to raise questions about why we're wasting time with sniffing people's clothing and other assorted hassles like stealing their possessions or shooting their loved ones dead.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I know that's right. The only reason you would question the drug war is if you hate the childrenz.

  • ChrisO||

    border guards claimed his clothing smelled funny and tested positive for cocaine.

    In other words, he refused the border guards' polite request for a contribution.

  • ||

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/le.....versities/

    Interesting and compelling case against state subsidized schools.

  • mr simple||

    Plumbers and electricians earn more than graduates in various humanities or so-called “social sciences.”

    This. There are so many problems created by trying to force people above their abilities. Not everyone needs to go to college. Kids pushed into classes will be bored. It's another symptom of the disease referenced earlier in the article where the principal talks about parents threatening to sue when the teacher tells them their kid cheated on a test. I understand wanting a better life for your kids, but you don't do them any favors by raising them to be insolent assholes.
    /nyquil rant

  • creech||

    Just think how much worse it would have been if he had spent an extra few minutes in the bathroom.

  • Ska||

    See, if they just tested his keys instead....

  • Rich||

    Bet *Grandma* spends an extra few minutes in the bathroom, though, eh?

  • Skr||

    Who the fuck doesn't know what mothballs smell like?

  • BakedPenguin||

    People born after 1980.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I bucked the odds. Just barely, though.

  • icanmakeyouaman||

    I only know mothballs exist because of stories like this.

    and sometimes I hear the word "mothballed", the meaning of which I always infer from context.

    DOB: 1986

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    YOB: 1983

  • ||

    Dude thats just not right man, not right at all!

    www.anon-web-toolz.at.tc

  • Moncler jas||

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  • Carrie Jean||

    Haha that is a funny story, a Doctor who lives with his grandma who washes his clothes? That's awesome! I wouldn't mind her doing the laundry anytime.Washing Machine Rentals

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