North Carolina Sheriffs Mistake Tortilla Dough (aka Masa) for Cocaine, Arrest Mexican by Accident

masa_flicrkjlastras.jpg
Flickr user jlastras
Does this ball of masa look like an eight-ball to you?

Over the past decade, the Carolinas have seen the largest increase in its Latino population of any states in the country, meaning South and North went from states where the only Latinos were in their universities to healthy, large communities. Such a sudden change, however, has come with growing pains--namely good ol' boys meeting Mexican food that wasn't Chi-Chi's or Taco Bell for the first time in their life.

That's apparently what happened in Buncombe County (now THAT'S a name!), where sheriff's deputies pulled over one Antonio Hernandez Carranza for driving erratically, and saw a mysterious substance in his car. They arrested him for cocaine possession, 91 pounds of it--except it wasn't cocaine. Most of it was masa, the corn dough consumed and prepared by Mexicans since the dawn of time.
The full story is here, but it turns out Hernandez had been driving from Carson to Tennessee, with a carload of masa, shrimp and flour (harina?) for his family but took a wrong turn and ended up in North Carolina. The deputies only found out the masa wasn't cocaine after a lab analysis returned negative, and released Hernandez without an apology--after keeping him in jail FOR FOUR DAYS, impounding his car, and taking his dog.

What's next for those Blue Ridge deputies--mistaking a bag of udon for lines of crack?

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11 comments
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PASSAGE1
PASSAGE1

THEY NEED TO GO BACK TO TRAININGBUT THIS NOTHING NEW SAME O SAME BUNCH OF BS!

Rocky Stanza
Rocky Stanza

"What's next for those Blue Ridge deputies--mistaking a bag of udon for lines of crack?"

Probably not, because, as you know (but don't mention), the Buncombe County Sheriff's Department is working with manufacturers to correct faulty tests of suspected drugs.

Gustavo, we're all aware of your need to impress people with a devotion to -- read: prejudice toward -- everything Mexican. So, as usual, I checked the original story to see if you had left out something important. My God, what didn't you leave out! I learned that the incident started when the driver took off after officers knocked on the window to see why he'd parked on an Interstate Highway. He led them on a slow-moving, O.J.-style chase for three miles and wouldn't get out of the car when they finally stopped him. He appeared intoxicated (apparently, because he had gone without sleep for several days), and field tests showed (erroneously) that he was transporting drugs.

Do you agree that you should have mentioned these facts from the news story and let your readers draw their own conclusions? Look at the kind of response your bigotry in favor of Mexicans and against Southerners has encouraged from readers of similar mindset. Assuming that the information originally reported is correct (and you give no indication otherwise), your omissions are just as harmful as bigotry against Mexicans and in favor of Southerners or other whites.

Incidentally, as I said, the faulty drug tests have led the Sheriff's Department to investigate the problem with the manufacturer and look for corrective measures. Isn't that what you'd expect from professionals? What corrective measures are you considering for your reaction to people who are different from you?

One final point: I've lived all over the U.S. and have never met a bigot anywhere who thought he was a bigot. Like you, even in the face of strong evidence, they always have weak reasons and confused explanations for their peculiar behavior.

Greg
Greg

Oh my god your kidding, this reads cover my redneck ass all over

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

You also left out the part where the police put their knee on his back, but why mess with your narrative? What you included changes nothing, so spare us your hard-on for me, por favor--it's rather embarrassing.

Eaidina
Eaidina

That is sooooo embarrassingall North Carolina's are not that stupid.. I swear... Only a few of us....

Defytrends
Defytrends

They're right to haul him away! The addiction for mexican food is rampant!

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Does that ball of masa look like an eight ball? No. In no way does it look like 3.5 grams of cocaine. It does, at first glance, look like a giant ball of coke, though.

I'm most struck by how unbelievably dumb you have to be to be headed for Tennessee and end up in North Carolina. I mean, really. Look at a highway map. It aint rocket science.

Tirana21
Tirana21

Whatever stupid white cops admit

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

It's not for nothing that the word "bunkum" comes from a politician who was "talking to Buncombe."

Phil Nigash
Phil Nigash

I can't believe it's 2011 and the South is still full of Barney Fifes. Did they think it would be "too Hollywood" to cut a bag of that flour open and taste it? Not that they'd know what the hell they were looking for in the first place.

I hope they at least paid him for the shrimp that was ruined. What? They impounded the dude's DOG TOO? Someone needs to be fired.

PDamian
PDamian

When the South ceases to be filled with Barney Fifes, then it'll cease to be the South.

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