Mimesis Law
17 August 2017

Meth In Your Lemonade? A Cop’s Defense

August 10, 2016 (Fault Lines) — Just the title of the article is enough to make you scratch your head:

Subway employee arrested after cop’s drink tests positive for meth, THC 

One can’t help but wonder why on earth a Subway employee would drug a cop. Could you see an employee perhaps spitting in his lemonade? Sure. Shorting him on cheese or meat, or using that one loaf of bread someone dropped on the floor earlier? Even more likely. But slipping him illegal drugs that cost good money?

The whole story seems implausible. Those are drugs that could probably make their purchaser pretty happy. People don’t go to the trouble of procuring black market items whose mere possession is a crime in most places only to turn around and give them to an unsuspecting cop.

It’s a difficult thing to believe, and yet the title seems to accurately describe what happened:

A teenage Subway employee was arrested Monday in Utah after investigators say the sandwich shop worker purposely tainted a police officer’s drink with illegal drugs.

How the employee did it is also probably exactly how you’d expect based on the title:

Authorities say the teen was working the drive-thru of Subway in nearby Layton when an unidentified law enforcement officer in uniform dropped by earlier that afternoon and ordered a lemonade. After reviewing surveillance camera footage and conducting tests on the drink, investigators determined that the employee deliberately drugged the cop — a second-degree felony.

“In the video, (Ukena) is seen filling the drink portion of the order at the drive-up fountain area,” according to a Davis County Jail report acquired by KSL-TV. “For some unknown reason, he walks away from the fountain machine out of camera view. He then returns to the drink where he is seen spending what seems to be an unusual amount of time getting it ready to deliver to the sergeant.”

The fact it was a teenage employee makes the whole thing seem a little more plausible. Maybe the kid found the drugs in the bathroom earlier in his shift and had bad encounters with the cop before. Or maybe the drugs were his and he overindulged, suddenly deciding it would be funny to share the buzz with law enforcement. Teenagers do stupid things.

Still, you can’t help but wonder why that would’ve seemed like a good idea. Surely he knew the officer would’ve noticed he was high and figured out how that happened. It’s a crime that would be all but impossible to conceal unless the cop didn’t get impaired enough to notice, in which case the crime would’ve been pretty much pointless. Furthermore, the employee probably could’ve guessed meth and THC would affect the taste and alert\ the cop to the fact something was wrong, which it apparently did:

The officer who ordered the drink had several sips and later stated that it “tasted funny,” according to the report. Soon the apparent drugs began taking their toll, and the officer eventually had to be briefly hospitalized.

“The (sergeant) began feeling the effects of being drugged,” the report stated. “While approaching an intersection that had a red light, he had difficulty getting his foot to move to the brake pedal. (He) drove to the Layton Police Department, where he was observed to have signs of impairment. He was unable to process information and drifted off, and was unable to focus on questions being asked of him.”

It’s at that point where you should maybe start having some doubts about the cop’s story. After all, if you step back and ask yourself which is the more plausible of what are likely the only two possible scenarios explaining what happened given the facts, do you think it’s:

1) that a teenager working at Subway spent his hard-earned money on drugs that he slipped into a cop’s lemonade for no reason likely knowing he would be caught, or

2) that a cop did some meth and smoked some weed, then made up a story about being drugged when people observed signs of impairment after he pulled up to the station?

If the cop were your ordinary drunk driver and not a cop, this would be a no-brainer. The other cops wouldn’t have taken his claim about being drugged seriously for one second. They’d have rolled their eyes and arrested him for DUI. They certainly wouldn’t have rushed out and gotten surveillance footage showing there was a point where it looked like the kid might’ve drugged him. They wouldn’t have tested the lemonade either. In fact, they probably would’ve impounded the car and let the tow company and impound lot do who knows what to the exculpatory drink.

If the drugged cop wasn’t a cop, he would’ve been laughed out of court trying to present the Subway-put-meth-and-THC-in-my-lemonade defense. He probably would’ve been in custody for the DUI long enough so that Subway would’ve recorded over the surveillance tape. Again, the beverage itself probably wouldn’t be available or suitable for retesting anymore. The prosecutor and the court would’ve pressured him to plead. They would’ve looked at his inability to provide proof he was drugged as a clear sign he was making it up.

Instead of investigating whether there was merit to his outrageous claim about being drugged, if that cop wasn’t a cop, the other cops might have tried to testify as experts that the drink would’ve tasted so bad that he couldn’t have possibly stomached enough to reach the levels of meth and THC found in his blood. Or maybe the state would’ve found an expert to say the drugs in question weren’t soluble in lemonade at all, or maybe that they would’ve taken a lot longer to kick in or that the plan would’ve required huge amounts of illegal drugs to work.

No matter how you look at it, that cop sure is lucky he was a cop. It sucks if he really was drugged, but unlike most people whose completely implausible versions of events might be true, he got every benefit of the doubt. He even has chemical test results to support his story:

Subsequent analysis revealed that the drink tested positive for traces of both methamphetamine and THC, the high-inducing chemical found in marijuana.

For a non-cop, though, even that might not have been enough to avoid charges. Had other cops witnessed an ordinary citizen wasted behind the wheel and found that ordinary citizen’s lemonade contained meth and THC, they would’ve assumed he drugged himself. If not, they probably would’ve noticed furtive movements, thus suggesting to them that he stuck the meth and THC he was using in his own drink when he realized he was about to get busted.

The story was probably published purely for its bizarreness, but it may actually be a great lesson for everyone to learn for the next time they’re confronted with a seemingly ridiculous defense. It may be that the cop got out of a DUI and illegal drug use on the job by blaming it all on a poor, innocent Subway employee who now faces criminal charges.

However, it may be that the employee really did slip a cop meth and THC for no reason. Regardless, we should all be as lucky as that cop was when it comes to being taken seriously for what might on its face seem like an impossible excuse for breaking the law. It might be true, after all.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • DaveL
    10 August 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I was wondering, was this “subsequent analysis” of the drink done by a lab technician with a mass spectrometer, or by a cop with a field test kit?

  • Mary May
    10 August 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    First I would like to point out that you could be completely wrong here. I worked in the food industry for almost 20 years prior to changing careers. I heard and saw some weird things. I went back to the food industry part-time to earn a little extra money to help a family member. The industry has changed a lot over the years. People plot crazy stuff. I actually turned someone in after I figured out that they were doing drug deals through the bathroom. I have even caught people slipping things in bags or in drinks.Now, what could have happened is,the young man did drop something in the drink, intending to give it to someone else (perhaps someone in a different car). The police officer could have been given a tainted drink. Another thought is, it was a sinister plot or he thought it was a prank. I am certain many of you may remember back in the 80’s with the cyanide poisoning in Tylenol. My point is, we do not have all the facts on how or why and some people do not need a why. By the way,people (especially teenagers) waste their hard earned money on stupid stuff, so that is a non-argument. You also use a lot of circular logic. Really, if you are going to bash police officers please have some facts to back up your smear campaign.

    • shg
      10 August 2016 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      You were almost credible right up until last two words, but you just had to go the extra bit.

    • losingtrader
      12 August 2016 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      ” I have even caught people slipping things in bags or in drinks”

      When you order a “$30 Burger” at the drive-through, that’s a tip off

  • jdgalt
    12 August 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    The story begins by saying the drink tested positive. When it ends by casting doubt, one has to wonder why the test result isn’t reliable (and why we weren’t told about it up front). Was the test done by the cop? Had the cop himself recently produced a positive drug test (if he had not, what’s his motive for maybe framing the teen)? When a story begs these questions, someone is going to get creative in fishing for answers.