DALLAS (AP) -- For nearly three months, Jose Luis Vega languished in jail after police claimed they found a package of drugs at the auto body shop where he worked.
The 35-year-old Mexican immigrant proclaimed his innocence -- to no avail. He had been fingered by a confidential informant often used by authorities.
Vega was finally released in November after lab tests indicated the substance found wasn't cocaine -- but the building material drywall. By that time, Vega had lost his job and gone into debt.
"It took something from me economically, and a little bit physically," Vega said through an interpreter Tuesday. "It wasn't fair. I don't think the system is fair."
Vega isn't alone. In as many as 24 cases in Dallas, lab tests revealed fake drugs or tiny amounts of the real thing mixed with large amounts of drywall.
Defense lawyers are questioning how many other people may have been wrongly accused by the paid informant who has not been identified by Dallas police.
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