Drug test false positive sends innocent man to jail

Published: Nov. 10, 2019 at 5:53 PM MST
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Kelly Severe gives her son a vitamin every day. In July, when police found the vitamin in his lunch box, her son was charged with the possession of meth.

When Delta Police found the substance, procedure called for a Narcotics Identification Kit. The powder inside the vitamin tested positive for meth and Kelly's son was taken to jail. After requesting an additional test of the vitamin, Kelly's family could finally rest easy: the kit had resulted in a false positive. The two-dollar test has a reputation for false positives, and Kelly and her family are calling for the Delta Police Department and others to stop using these kits.

"Well, when he got those results, he actually started crying. It was really serious to him," says stepfather Mark Stockton.

"He was told he was looking at two years in prison for this. I think that sending one innocent person to prison is too many. I don’t want to see anyone else go through this," says mother Kelly Sevier.

While Kelly's son only spent a day in jail and now has the charges dropped, the family fears for those that might be in a similar situation but might not have the resources.

The false-positive cost Kelly's son three hundred dollars in bail money, a year's worth of vacation days to appear in court, and even his reputation.

We reached out to the Delta Police Department for comment on the use of these kits, but have not yet heard back.

The vitamin which tested positive was N-Acetyl-Cysteine, which is most commonly used for cough and other lung conditions.

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