bottle of “Cynomel” that appeared to be a prescription drug.
The bottle was labeled in Spanish without any prescription
information on it.
Ochana allegedly told the officers that the white powder
was “creatine” (a popular muscle builder), but according to
the officers, “He couldn’t say really anything. He just said
that it’s not what you think it is.” The officers told Ochana
that they were going to take him in so that they could
identify the white powder. The officers did not know what
was in the bottle, but they believed that it was a prescrip-
tion drug that Ochana had obtained illegally.
The officers handcuffed Ochana and took him to the police
station. Ochana’s car was towed and impounded. Later at
the police station, Ochana explained to officers what
creatine was—a dietary supplement usually purchased at
health food stores to help build muscles, and a non-con-
trolled substance. Moreover, Ochana explained to the
officers that the brown bottle contained his thyroid medica-
tion. Ochana had obtained it while in Mexico as a substitute
for the thyroid medication for which he had a valid prescrip-
tion in the United States. Ochana asked the defendants to
call Walgreens to verify his prescription. Officer Flores
called a pharmacist, and was allegedly told that Cynomel
was a prescription drug, a steroid, and a controlled sub-
Based on this incident, Ochana was charged with obstruc-
tion of traffic, in violation of the City of Chicago Municipal
, IL, C
§ 9-40-130 (1999); possession of a
controlled substance in violation of 720 Ill. Comp. Stat.
570/402 (1998); and forging or altering a prescription, in
violation of 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 570/406 (1998). He spent
the next two nights in jail, and was released on Sunday
morning after posting a $100,000 bond, $1,000 of which was
nonrefundable. Subsequent attorneys’ fees to clear Ochana
of the pending charges added up to another $1,000.