On March 27, 2013, police in Houston, Texas stopped 40-year-old Geary Wilkins, a convicted felon, for a traffic violation and spotted what appeared to be white powder on the floorboard in front of the rear seat of Wilkins’ car. Wilkins was charged with possession of a controlled substance after a field test on the white powder was positive for the presence of cocaine.
Five days later, on April 1, Wilkins pled guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to six months in jail.
On July 25, 2013, the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory issued a report stating that testing of the powder was negative for any controlled substance. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office notified Wilkins’s lawyer and on July 29, at the request of both the prosecution and the defense, a judge vacated the guilty plea and dismissed the charge. Wilkins was released that day.
In February 2014, the motion to dismiss was vacated because it was past a statutory deadline for such a motion. A state petition for a writ of habeas corpus was then filed and on April 16, 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued the writ. On April 25, 2014, the charge was dismissed.
Wilkins later received $33,333 in compensation from the state of Texas.
He subsequently was convicted of theft, possession of a controlled substance and unauthorized use of a vehicle, among other charges.
– Maurice Possley