A Georgia grandmother was sent to jail after police thought they found a baggie of meth in the car she was riding in.
Unfortunately for the two deputies involved, the plastic bag didn’t contain any meth. In fact, the bag didn’t even contain drugs. The Monroe County deputies stumbled upon a bag of cotton candy and mistook it for methamphetamine. To make matters worse, an erroneous field test confirmed the deputies’ suspicions.
Unfortunately for Dasha Fincher, the mistake landed her in jail for three whole months. Now that Fincher is free, she is suing the three officers involved for violating her rights and for wrongful imprisonment. Fincher also names Sirchie Acquisition Company, the maker of the field kit used by the deputies, in the lawsuit. Fincher filed the suit on November 15th in U.S. District Court in Macon, Georgia.
In one year alone, Sirchie’s field kit test, the NARK II, produced 145 false positives in the state of Georgia, potentially having sent 145 innocent people to jail. According to the suit, blue food coloring likely caused the false positive.
While sitting in the Monroe County jail for those three months, Fincher missed out on the birth of her twin grandchildren and her daughter’s miscarriage. She was also refused medical care for multiple ailments, including a broken wrist and an ovarian cyst.
Fincher was a passenger in a car that was pulled over on December 31, 2016. The deputies, Cody Maples and Allen Henderson, claimed the car’s window tinting was too dark, though they later told the occupants that it was not actually a violation. After requesting to search the vehicle, the deputies found “a large, open clear plastic bag which contained a light blue substance, spherical in shape,” according to the lawsuit.
Despite both the driver and Fincher explaining that the bag contained cotton candy, the deputies proceeded to field test it. The test came back positive for methamphetamine, resulting in the immediate arrest of both Fincher and her boyfriend.
In dash camera video from the squad car, Fincher can be seen covering her face as the deputies sniff the bag of cotton candy. The video ends with Fincher being handcuffed.
Fincher’s bail was set at a whopping $1 million dollars after the wrongful charge of possession and trafficking of methamphetamine. The cotton candy was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for forensic testing. Dasha Fincher was sent to jail, where she stayed for the next three months, even after a report came back stating that the blue substance was not meth.
“At first I kept thinking I was going to get out, then the next day came, and I’d think, ‘Maybe I’ll get out tomorrow. Then tomorrow turned into the next day,” Fincher said.
“I’ve lost a lot I can’t get back,” she said. “Three months is a long time.”
“This is more than a Monroe County, Georgia, problem,” Fincher’s attorney said. “These $2 drug test kits are being sold by Sirchie nationwide. They leave a person presumed guilty until proven innocent.