Maryland Transportation Authority

Man Jailed For 82 Days After Airport Officials Mistake Honey Jars For Liquid Meth

A man was reportedly detained for nearly three months after Customs and Border Protection officers mistakenly identified his souvenir Jamaican honey for liquid methamphetamine, CNN reported.

Leon Haughton from Maryland has recently spoken out about his ordeal and revealed he plans to take legal action against those responsible for his wrongful imprisonment.

On December 29 last year, Haughton was traveling back to the U.S. from his birthplace of Jamaica.

Unsplash | Ken Yam

When customs officers first stopped him at Baltimore Washington International Airport, he thought the issue was that he had a KFC meal stowed away in his suitcase.

However, it wasn't the fried chicken that caught the officers' attention, but the souvenirs Haughton was attempting to bring back to the U.S.

In his suitcase were three glass bottles of honey he had purchased during his stay in Jamaica.

Maryland Transportation Authority

Officers believed the bottles actually contained liquid meth, not honey. His suitcase was confiscated and he was handcuffed.

"They said I was charged with methamphetamine, so I said 'what is meth,'" Haughton recalled.

A spokesperson for the CBP explained the bottles did, in fact, test positive for meth.

Flickr | Todd Morris

At least, initially they did.

"A specially trained drug-sniffing dog was alerted to the presence of a controlled dangerous substance and a preliminary test done by the police officers further tested positive for a controlled dangerous substance," the spokesperson said.

However, further tests actually showed "there was no controlled dangerous substance inside the honey."

Haughton spent a total of 82 days in jail, totaling nearly three months wrongly spent behind bars.


He faced multiple charges including importing a controlled substance into the state and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Despite insisting the honey was purchased on the side of the road in Jamaica, he remained detained until March when the follow-up test determined the honey was in fact, just honey.

However, a lot changed in Haughton's life while he was sitting behind bars in a county jail.

Unsplash | Matthew Ansley

"Once I came out, all my insurances collapsed, my credit was destroyed," he said. "I lost my job, everything. They just left me a mess."

The father of six actually lost two jobs while he was behind bars, and explained his detainment caused his family plenty of emotional strife: "My kids were stressed out, my mom, everybody. They put me through hell."

According to Haughton, Customs has written to him and offered to send him his honey.

Unsplash | Arwin Neil Baichoo

However, he has no interest in getting his souvenir honey back. What he wants instead is justice.

"Lawsuits [are] going to be coming soon," Terry Morris, Haughton's attorney, said. "There will be lawsuits imminent."

h/t: CNN