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Man jailed four months over 'meth' that turned out to be salt

Lawyer Travis George said his client was jailed for four months before investigators determined the suspected methamphetamine was Epsom salt.

By Ben Hooper
Man jailed four months over 'meth' that turned out to be salt
Closeup photo of fine Magnesium sulfate, aka Epsom salt. Photo by SASIMOTO/Shutterstock

MARYBOROUGH, Australia, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- An Australian man caught with suspected crystal meth spent four months in jail before investigators discovered the substance was Epsom salt.

Travis George, the Maryborough, Queensland, man's lawyer, said his client was jailed when police performing a routine check of his car discovered a substance they suspected to be crystal methamphetamine.

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George said his client was remanded to custody due to his criminal history and he was held for four months before investigators with Queensland Health's Forensic and Scientific Services at the John Tonge Center discovered the suspected crystal meth was actually Epsom salt.

"The charges were then withdrawn by police," The Fraser Coast Chronicle quoted George as saying.

George detailed the case in support of Maryborough Magistrate John Smith's complaints about long delays when dealing with the John Tonge Center. Smith said one of his cases was adjourned for two months pending the outcome of testing.

"It has always been a concern for our clients about delay due to awaiting analysis where it is forensic," George said.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman denied any lengthy delays for Forensic and Scientific Services.

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"Urgent cases are completed within the time frame required by the police and the courts," she said. "All forensic testing performed at FSS is prioritized daily with police and the courts."

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