Drug War

How a Donut Habit Can Send You to Jail

The meth that a Florida man was arrested for possessing was actually Krispy Kreme glaze.

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Krispy Kreme

After pulling over the aptly named Daniel Rushing for failing to make a complete stop as he left the parking lot of a 7-11 in Orlando and driving 12 miles an hour above the speed limit, Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins "observed in plain view a rock-like substance on the floor board where his feet were." The eagle-eyed, street-savvy cop later recalled that she "recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic." The suspect "stated that the substance is sugar from a Krispy Kreme Donut that he ate," but Riggs-Hopkins knew better: Two field tests of the "rock-like substance" gave "a positive indication for the presence of amphetamines."

Rushing was handcuffed, arrested, and taken to the county jail, where he was strip-searched and locked up for 10 hours before being released on $2,500 bail. Three days later, after a lab test found no illegal substance in the evidence recovered by Riggs-Hopkins, the charges against Rushing were dropped. The lab test was not specific enough to identify which brand of donut the glaze came from, so we'll just have to take Rushing's word that it was indeed a Krispy Kreme.

"I kept telling them, 'That's…glaze from a doughnut," Rushing said in a recent interview with the Orlando Sentinel. "They tried to say it was crack cocaine at first. Then they said, 'No, it's meth, crystal meth.'" While the story sounds funny from a distance, Rushing was not laughing then, and he isn't now. He plans to sue the Orlando Police Department for arbitrarily depriving him of his liberty. "I got arrested for no reason at all," he said. "It feels scary when you haven't done anything wrong and get arrested.…It's just a terrible feeling."

Riggs-Hopkins was surveilling the 7-11 in response to "citizen complaints about drug activity" and thought it was suspicious that Rushing, who was giving a lift to a friend who worked at the convenience store, left without buying anything, in the company of a "black female employee of the 7-11." So in addition to the faux expertise of overconfident drug warriors, this episode illustrates the dangers posed by pretextual traffic stops, which are often followed by searches. Like many innocent people, Rushing agreed to let the cops search his car, and they found another nugget of glaze/meth. "I didn't have anything to hide," Rushing explained. Or so he thought. He did not understand the incriminating power of innocuous substances combined with faulty field tests. "I'll never let anyone search my car again," he told the Sentinel.

Although Rushing learned a valuable lesson from this episode, it is doubtful that police did. Even after years of stories like this one, cops either do not know or do not care that the tests on which they rely to arrest people for drug offenses routinely react to legal substances as if they were contraband. 

A few days before the Sentinel ran its story about Rushing's pending lawsuit, officials in Hugo, Colorado, rescinded warnings that residents should not drink the local tap water because it was contaminated by THC. As in Rushing's case, multiple field tests of Hugo water supposedly showed it was psychoactive. Denver's CBS affiliate reports that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation "ultimately determined there was no THC in the town's water after six of 10 tests were said to be false positives."

NEXT: Court Finds 'Substantial Evidence' Orange County DA Retaliated Against Judge Who Exposed Misconduct

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  1. I’m more likely to be snorting donut crumbs off the floor than crystal meth. #IsThatWeird?

    1. DRUGS AER BADD!!!!!!

    2. Yes very. I think you pose a danger to police on your next traffic stop.

  2. You mean I’ve been buying Krispy Kreme all these years for the meth??! At worst, I thought I was getting low-grade crack cocaine.

  3. this could be the best ad campaign ever:

    donuts so good, even cops think they’re crack!

  4. Congratulations on becoming a libertarian Mr. Rushing.

  5. The eagle-eyed, street-savvy cop later recalled that she “recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic.”

    She dabbed it with her pinky and touched it to the tip of her tongue, immediately recognizing as a law enforcement officer its addictive qualities. While she couldn’t quite place the exact substance, her training nonetheless kicked in. Grabbing the handcuffs from her size 48 belt, she subdued the addict and immediately made her way to the precinct for a celebratory – and union mandated – pastry break, knowing that a criminal had not escaped justice. Not on her watch.

    1. If a cop can’t tell it’s donut residue, they need to get another job.

    2. i cant believe there arent riots over this

  6. That cop was dumb. How dumb? So dumb as to be unable to recognize donut residue.

    1. Get real. The notion that a cop couldn’t identify donut residue is about as believable as the story about the HOF Quaterback that didn’t realize the balls were underinflated.

      1. Isn’t that the ref’s job?

  7. she “recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic.”

    Wow, what a load of shit. Any colorless, crystalline material looks the same. There is no way to visually tell if it’s meth, sugar, salt or any number of other substances.

    1. I like the ’11 years of experience’ and the ‘*some* sort of narcotic’.

      a) she couldn’t tell which *kind* just by looking, only that it was some kind.

      b) with 11 years of experience she still doesn’t know that meth is not a narcotic.

      1. I always think that too, especially when people refer to stimulants as “narcotics”.

        I’m not sure who decided that all psychoactive drugs should be called narcotics. Maybe started with the Bureau of Narcotics?

        1. It’s like when people say “utilize” instead of “use”. They think it makes them sound smarter than they really are. Quite the opposite is true.

  8. a rock-like substance on the floor board

    Like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a *rock*?

    *** vacuums floor board ***

    1. cops dont need probable cause just a poor excuse

  9. Donut stop believing, hold on to your feelings, yeah…

    trytheveal.com

    1. Alternate joke: I guess it was one of those famous Hurtz Donuts.

  10. “Like many innocent people, Rushing agreed to let the cops search his car”

    There’s the lesson of the story. Tell them to fuck off.

    1. propaganda teaches that cops are protectors while big brother government has turned them into our prison guards

  11. That person should have been arrested anyway, for eating Krispy Kremes.

    DUNKIN 4 LIFE!

    1. Damn yankees. Nobody wants those nasty cake-style doughnuts.

      1. Yeah, Dunkin sucks. I don’t understand at all why people like it so much. And they drive all the good donut shops out of business. And I am a proud New Englander.

  12. he wasnt arrested just for sugar, he was arrested because of predatory cops acting like Uhmerica is one big open air prison. a modern day witch hunt to rob people of their property and their right to vote. how dare anyone call the US the land of the free. if the religious types cant attack you for alcohol they will settle for any reason to use violence against the “nonbelievers”

  13. A few days before the Sentinel ran its story about Rushing’s pending lawsuit, officials in Hugo, Colorado, rescinded warnings that residents should not drink the local tap water because it was contaminated by THC.

    And the day after the warning all the head shop owners were telling their customers it was bogus.

    1. I’m sure they all knew it was BS right away. The solubility of THC in water is so low that there could never be any significant amount in the water.

  14. THC isn’t water soluble! That story is on its face ridiculous

  15. Thanks, that’s very bad news me a donut fan i love to eat it all time. the best portal for ticket booking as well as pnr status, irctc train enquiry is none other than irctc official government website.

  16. Thanks, that’s very bad news me a donut fan i love to eat it all time. the best portal for ticket booking as well as pnr status, irctc train enquiry is none other than irctc official government website.

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