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Couple jailed for having baking soda in their truck

Massachusetts truck drivers, as well as law enforcement officials and personnel at truck inspection stations, may have heard about narcotics test kits that have been known to render false positive readings. For one married couple who are both truckers, the false results landed them in jail until they could prove that the substance they had in their truck was really baking soda instead of cocaine.

The incident occurred when the couple, who drive a big rig for a living, pulled into a truck inspection center May 8 in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. After inspectors found a white powdery substance in clear, plastic bags in their truck, they suspected it was cocaine. The substance was tested several times with a $2 narcotics testing kit, and it was determined to be cocaine each time, as reported.

As a result, police placed the couple in the Sebastian County Detention Center, where they remained for about two months. They were released on July 14 when experts with the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory determined the powdery substance really was baking soda. Not only did the couple lose their job working for the military hauling explosive matter, they also had to work for about two months to get their truck back from the state.

Facing drug charges can be a stressful experience, especially since the penalties for a conviction include steep fines and lengthy jail sentences. Therefore, people in these circumstances might consider contacting a criminal defense attorney who could get the charges lowered or dropped by challenging the way in which the evidence was collected. The presiding judge may also decide to reduce the charges or completely drop them if there is evidence that a serious infraction occurred, such as if the defendant's rights were violated.

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