News for Public Officials and the People They Serve

Related Articles & Links

Man sues sheriff over repeated mistaken identity arrests

Red Light Cameras Exposed Thousands To Identity Theft


Deputies in Texas, Police in Florida Scammed

Allegedly provided access to secure database used by law enforcement


Hold the Pickles, Hold the Pot

Special seasoning upset cops

David Bloys - News for Public Officials



Police officers in Los Lunas New Mexico weren't asking, "Where's the beef, " when they stopped in last October to enjoy some late night burgers. What they found in their cheeseburgers landed three Burger King workers in jail and the fast food chain facing a lawsuit.


The Isleta tribal officers thought they tasted something unusual in the cheeseburgers they'd purchased at the drive-through. One of the officers, when he was eating his hamburger, said, ‘This thing tastes like it has marijuana in it,” and that’s when he opened it up to see what was inside."


When they lifted the tops of their half eaten burgers, the officers saw some green, leafy stuff sprinkled on top of the melted cheese. A field test revealed the special seasoning was marijuana.


The three Burger King employees were arrested and charged with aggravated battery on an officer, a felony. They later were indicted.


In addition to charges of aggravated battery on an officer, 19-year-old Justin Armijo, 21-year-old Robert Nuckols and their manager, 33-year-old Joseph Ledefma, were charged with possession of marijuana.


According to KOB-TV, the officers "began acting odd after ingesting the marijuana" and they were taken to a hospital for evaluation.


Legal problems for the burger chain began this month when

the two police officers have sued Burger King Corporation alleging personal injury, negligence, battery and violation of fair practices. It seeks unspecified damages along with legal costs.


The lawsuit, filed in Bernalillo County,  says Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon, officers for the Isleta Pueblo tribal police, were in uniform and riding in a marked patrol car when they bought the suspect meals October 8.


"It gives a whole new meaning to the word Whopper," the officers' attorney, Sam Bregman, said. "The idea that these hoodlums would put marijuana into a hamburger and therefore attempt to impair law enforcement officers trying to do their jobs is outrageous."



Get News for Public Officials in your email