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Old 12-29-2005, 02:52 PM   #1 (Print)
FireMen2003
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Do You Feel Sorry For Her?

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PHILADELPHIA - When college freshman Janet Lee packed her bags for a Christmas trip home two years ago, her luggage contained three condoms filled with flour — devices that she and some friends made as a joke.

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Philadelphia International Airport screeners found the condoms, and their initial tests showed they contained drugs. The Bryn Mawr College student was arrested on drug trafficking charges and jailed. Three weeks later, she was released after a lab test backed her story, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.

Lee filed a federal lawsuit last week against city police, seeking damages for pain and suffering, financial loss, and emotional distress. She was arrested on Dec. 21, 2003, and was held on $500,000 bail and faced up to 20 years in prison had she been convicted of the drug charges.

"I haven't let myself be angry about what happened, because it would tear me apart," Lee said. "I'm not sure I can bear to face it. I'm amazed at how naive I was."

Airport screeners found the condoms filled with white powder in Lee's checked luggage shortly before she was to board a plane to Los Angeles to visit her family. She said she told city police they were filled with flour. She said she made them as a joke and would squeeze them to relieve stress.

Police told her a field test showed that the powder contained opium and cocaine, according to the Inquirer. A lab test later proved the substance was flour — and prosecutors dropped the charges, the newspaper reported.

Lee's lawyers, former prosecutors David Oh and Jeremy Ibrahim, say that either the field test was faulty or someone fixed the results.

Ibrahim said lawsuit was filed near the end of the two-year statute of limitations because Lee, now a junior, was emotionally devastated.

"She lost significant face with this event," Ibrahim said.

Police department spokesman Capt. Benjamin Naish and district attorney's office spokeswoman Cathie Abookire declined to comment.



I sure don't. What a dumbass....
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #2 (Print)
jrinck
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At least the white stuff was powder and not something else that's white.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #3 (Print)
justapixel
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"I'm amazed at how naive I was."


Me too.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #4 (Print)
minorthr
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Yes and NO

She was incredibly stupid for trying to take condoms packed with anything on a plane.

But what does it say about the philly narcotics cops who took 2 weeks to discover that it was actually flour.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #5 (Print)
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While it sucks this happened to her, she brought it on herself with her lousy "joke".

There are things you dont do when flying and joke around is one of them.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:55 PM   #6 (Print)
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She is extremely fortunate a cop didn't put some cocaine in them.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:56 PM   #7 (Print)
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I'm more concerned about how flour tested positive for opium and cocaine.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:57 PM   #8 (Print)
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It took 3 weeks for a lab to figure out the powder was flour, WTF. Yes the girl was an idiot, but to keep her in jail for 3 weeks is just insane.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:58 PM   #9 (Print)
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It's almost like she said: "how can a really screw up my life for the next three weeks?"

I suppose someone really cynical would say that she planned it all along so she could file suit.

That, however, would take brains, chutzpah and a fair amount of malevolence.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:58 PM   #10 (Print)
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I'm thinking this might have been a trial run for the real stuff later, IMO.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:59 PM   #11 (Print)
Extremist
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Hmm... three weeks in jail... important life lesson learned.

Why should I feel sorry for an idiot who put themselves in that position in the first place on purpose?
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:59 PM   #12 (Print)
jgickler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorthr
Yes and NO

She was incredibly stupid for trying to take condoms packed with anything on a plane.

But what does it say about the philly narcotics cops who took 2 weeks to discover that it was actually flour.


Well also figure she was going home for Christmas, so 3 weeks over the holidays seems reasonable to me. I know that regular officers work the holidays, but I would guess that lab techs are running on a skeleton crew.

Anyway, three weeks in jail for being such a dumba$$ seems about right to me.

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:59 PM   #13 (Print)
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Do I feel sorry for her? No! Not even a little!

Were the cops dumba$$'s... No doubt. But she was playing with fire and sometimes you just get burned.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:00 PM   #14 (Print)
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She's a doofus, but still...

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:01 PM   #15 (Print)
jrinck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsutherland
I'm more concerned about how flour tested positive for opium and cocaine.


Easy. Somebody wanted to save face.

It reminds me of the story about two teenagers who got killed by a train when crossing train tracks in their car. The railroad swore that it's tests showed that the signals were operating properly at the time. However, there was a video camera stationed near the tracks at the time of the accident that clearly showed the signal wasn't working.

So why didn't the signal work?

A maintenance worker forgot to throw a switch to reactivate the signal after some testing. Right after the accident, he was seen at the signal house, and questioned by a cop. Turns out he was reactivating the system to make it seem like it was working at the time of impact.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:01 PM   #16 (Print)
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Was it a stupid thing for her to do? Sure.

Was it an arrestable offense to have flour stuffed condoms. NO WAY.

Is it a federal offense for the City to have miscalibrated drug testing equipment? I don't know, but it's certainly a failing of the authorities to keep their end of the prosecutorial balance up to snuff. Sorta makes you wonder if other cases had the same failures or were fixed.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:03 PM   #17 (Print)
Mark Lopez
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She was an idiot.

As for the test, no idea why the first tested positive, but I can see it taking a while for the lab results. It's not like they are just sitting there waiting for samples to be dropped off. I'm sure they have a backlog.

Now, I wonder if her story is true. Did she really claim innocence at first. Perhaps they were filled with drugs and someone stole them, replacing them with the flour. And now she needs to sue to make up for her lost profits.

Oh, and it took 2 years to realize she had 'emotional distress'? Obviously the flour filled condoms don't work.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:07 PM   #18 (Print)
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She was an idiot (do we have an echo, Mark?)

Took the cops entirely too long to clear the substance, though it is Philadelphia. I think she should take this as a lesson learned. Don't mess with security screenings, and don't try to act like you are possessing with inent to distribute.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:08 PM   #19 (Print)
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Her: Moron.

Cops involved: Semi-competent at best.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:10 PM   #20 (Print)
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And stay the hell out of Philadelphia!

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:11 PM   #21 (Print)
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Don't feel sorry for her. Had someone else been the one to plant them as a joke, yes. But for her to have done it to herself? Dumbass.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:11 PM   #22 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsutherland
I'm more concerned about how flour tested positive for opium and cocaine.


Field tests are very crude tests. Usually a sample of the substance is placed in a liquid solution, if the liquid turns a certain color it's said to be a potential hit for a foreign substance. It's when it gets to the lab that is tested in the more sophisticated equipment where they can determine if its really drugs.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:13 PM   #23 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparkleMotion
Cops involved: Semi-competent at best.


In their defence (without knowing all of the facts) - if you find someone carrying condoms filled with white powder bording a plane, the odds are pretty high that the person is not 'playing a joke'. And 'if' the feild test did indicate a positive, then I don't see how they are to blame.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:16 PM   #24 (Print)
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However, a REAL smuggler using condoms would have SWALLOWED them first.

Their people need to get a field test that doesn't show positive for common household FLOUR, f'chrissake.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:18 PM   #25 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lopez
In their defence (without knowing all of the facts) - if you find someone carrying condoms filled with white powder bording a plane, the odds are pretty high that the person is not 'playing a joke'. And 'if' the feild test did indicate a positive, then I don't see how they are to blame.


The actual odds:

IT'S REALLY A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: 0.01% (nobody is dumb enough to try to blatantly get away with something like that.)

IT'S NOT A CONTROLELD SUBSTANCE AND THE PERSON IS AN IDIOT: 99.99% (on par with a "I hope this plane doesn't get hijacked" quip at the boarding gate.)

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:19 PM   #26 (Print)
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I don't feel the slightest bit of sympathy for her.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:22 PM   #27 (Print)
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I don't feel sorry for her but I think she's got a valid gripe. The field test not only should have tested negative, a simple quick finger in the bag and taste would have shown the cops it was flour.

My guess is they probably knew it wasn't drugs from the get-go but they arrested her and held her for as long as they possibly could just because cops are jerks like that sometimes.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:26 PM   #28 (Print)
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Originally Posted by Extremist
Hmm... three weeks in jail... important life lesson learned.

Why should I feel sorry for an idiot who put themselves in that position in the first place on purpose?


ding, ding, DING!

I am contantly amazed at the stupidity in this world.

I never did anything stupid like that...er, did I? Oops, I am reminded of the laundry detergent in the city square fountain..oops, well, at least I didn't get jail time.

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:27 PM   #29 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macquariumguy
...a simple quick finger in the bag and taste would have shown the cops it was flour.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DeNiro
What if it's Cyanide? That's why real cops don't taste drugs, Bill.


From the movie Showtime

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Old 12-29-2005, 03:27 PM   #30 (Print)
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We make "flour babies" all the time. Not out of condoms, but balloons. The kids draw faces on them...

Sometimes they are in the van. If I was pulled over and my vehicle searched (both fairly unlikely events anyway), I can now forsee myself getting arrested for possession of drugs and waiting in jail for a lab to decide it really was just flour.
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