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Van Nuys : Anheuser-Busch Sued Over Drug Search

Two current and two former employees of the Anheuser-Busch plant in Van Nuys filed a lawsuit against the beer-brewing giant Tuesday, alleging that they were treated unfairly and searched illegally during a company drug raid three months ago.

Jeff Bower, Dan McWilliams, David Cortez and Fred Cameron said they were harassed by an outside group of investigators. The men said they were forced to sign consent forms just minutes before their cars were searched. The men said that they learned about the company’s drug search policy only hours before the investigation took place.

Bower and McWilliams said they were embarrassed as co-workers looked on as they were ordered to take off shoes and socks while dogs circled their parked cars in search of drugs.

Cameron said he refused to be searched and was later fired. Still unemployed, he said he now lives in a camper. Bower was also fired after investigators said they found possible drug paraphernalia in the glove compartment of his truck. Bower said he admitted that the paraphernalia was in his car, but that it did not belong to him.

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Cortez and McWilliams still work at the plant.

William Cole, an attorney for Anheuser-Busch, confirmed the search, saying that it was warranted based on reports that there was drug use at the plant. Cole said the search is just an extension of the company’s drug policy.

The suit charges Anheuser-Busch with false imprisonment, defamation, invasion of privacy and wrongful termination. The men are seeking unspecified damages.


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