A man who was jailed for 14 days in Florida when shampoo he brought from Colombia falsely tested positive for cocaine is suing authorities for false arrest.
Donaldo Visbal, a Colombian government lawyer from the city of Barranquilla, said he brought the seven bottles of shampoo to Fort Lauderdale for a friend in November 2009 and he was in disbelief when federal agents at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport told him the contents of the bottles tested positive for cocaine, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.
"I kept telling them they were making a mistake," Visbal said.
He said his bail was set at $250,000 and he spent 14 days in jail before the Broward Sheriff's Office Crime Lab determined the shampoo did not contain any illegal drugs.
A false arrest lawsuit filed in October 2010 was dismissed in June by a judge who ruled there was probable cause for an arrest, but Richard Diaz, Visbal's attorney, filed a new lawsuit to clarify his client's position.
"Our lawsuit is only saying they had a right to detain him, but not to arrest him," Diaz said.
Diaz said the crime lab should have immediately tested his client's shampoo.
"They should not have waited," said Diaz, a former Miami-Dade Police Department detective. "They should have known it could have been a false positive reading."