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Dysart Willis

Raleigh woman released; Honduras drops drug charges

Everyone makes mistakes. Errors, gaffes, missteps and flubs are an unavoidable part of life. Of course, when the mistakes are made by law enforcement officials, it is often the innocent who pay a price.

A Raleigh woman was recently jailed for five days in Honduras on drug charges has been released by officials in the Central American nation. The 51-year-old was house-hunting for a vacation home and was on her way back to North Carolina when she was arrested by authorities who alleged she was transporting cocaine in "can safe" — an ordinary-appearing item used to hide valuables.

In this case, the safe is made to appear to be a can of Arizona Iced Tea. The top screws off and valuables can be hidden inside.

When an official examining the can shook it, white material came out. Police believed the substance was cocaine and took the Raleigh woman into custody.

The Raleigh woman's mother accompanied her on the house-hunting trip and told a local TV station that her daughter's arrest "is just so ridiculous. It's such a horror. You just can't believe it."

The material in the can was tested, with authorities announcing after five days that tests had come back negative for narcotics.

"It should have never happened," the woman told a TV station by phone. "I knew I didn't have drugs, but I never expected to spend five days in an 8-foot by 12-foot jail cell."

Police right here at home make mistakes, too. You can fight to protect your freedom and rights with the help of a Raleigh criminal defense attorney.