Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote a Tweet on Friday shining light on the Draconian nature of the cruel U.S. regulatory state that regularly punishes individuals harshly for non-crimes.
This is unacceptable.
Man spends 82 days in jail after bringing honey into the U.S. – The Washington Post https://t.co/6jTCeMmWX6
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 23, 2019
Paul highlighted the story of Leon Haughton, a man who brought honey back with him to the U.S. after a trip from Jamaica. Customs agents accused him of smuggling liquid meth while he was at an airport in Baltimore, MD.
Haughton spent months in jail before the situation was finally cleared up. In the mean time, he lost his jobs working as a construction worker and a janitor. His life was effectively ruined because of big government overreach.
“They messed up my life,” Haughton told the Washington Post. “I want the world to know that the system is not right. If I didn’t have strong people around me, they would probably leave me in jail. You’re lost in the system.”
Haughton was even held for an additional two months after the government inspectors found that the three bottles he was carrying tested negative for any controlled substance. He experienced immense pain every time he talked to his family, not knowing when he would see them again.
“It broke me right down,” Haughton said. Every time, they asked, “ ‘When are you coming home?’ ”
“Someone dropped the ball somewhere,” Haughton’s lawyer Terry Morris said. “An innocent man spent 82 days in jail for bringing honey into the United States.”
Now that he has been released from jail, Haughton is attempting to rebuild his life and continue to provide for his six children. He has gotten a job driving a bread truck, but hasn’t forgotten his harrowing ordeal with the out-of-control U.S. police state.
“I’m scared to even travel right now,” Haughton said. “You’re innocent, and you can end up in jail.”
Haughton’s terrifying ordeal could happen to anyone, as civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate pointed out in his 2009 book “Three Felonies a Day,” which estimates that the ordinary American commits an average of three felonies per day going about their daily routine.
“Many laws are indeed routinely broken,” Silvergate said. “Since no individual can keep track of what is illegal, every citizen is in danger of being singled out for prosecution simply because he or she has come within the sights of a law enforcement official. This makes us all vulnerable to official power.”