In February 2005, 34-year-old Raul Cantu pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court in Houston, Texas to possession of less than a gram of cocaine. He was sentenced to six months in a state jail.
At the time of Cantu’s plea, the substance alleged to be cocaine had not yet been tested by the crime lab, although a field test conducted at the time of arrest had resulted in a “positive” for cocaine.
In April, the substance was tested by the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and no cocaine or other controlled substance was found.
The prosecution notified Cantu’s attorney and prepared a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Cantu was released on bond on April 22, 2005.
The writ was granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on July 27, 2005 and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges on August 23, 2005.
– Maurice Possley