Jonathan Harrington, 21, thought he had a great joke when he heard that the University regularly inspected dorm rooms for drugs. Harrington took powdered sugar in lines to look like cocaine on his desk with a rolled up dollar bill and seven aspiring pills. The university police proceeded to do a field test and declared it to be real cocaine — leading to Harrington being charged with felony drug possession.
The case highlights the notoriously unreliable field tests. But the result is that the English major is facing five year in prison as well as expulsion. It will reportedly take weeks for the drugs to be tested and confirmed to be sugar.
Students have long objected to the lack of privacy in these drug sweeps and many no doubt applauded Harrington’s humorous mockery of the inspections. Here the housing officials called in the University of Miami police who admit that they saw that the tablets were marked aspirin but, with Harrington there telling them it was a joke, the field test said that he had left a huge amount of cocaine on his desk. He was handcuffed and taken away to jail.
Harrington will face arraignment next week on one felony count of cocaine possession.