When Monroe County sheriff’s deputies asked Dasha Fincher and David Morris Jr. to step out of their vehicle during a Dec. 31, 2016, traffic stop in Georgia, police said Fincher was “very nervous” and “started to shake.”
They were stopped because of a “very dark window tint” and consented to a search of their vehicle, according to an arrest report obtained by CBS affiliate WMAZ-TV. That’s when one of the deputies found a bag containing a “blue crystal like substance” on the passenger-side floorboard, where Fincher had been sitting.
She told Monroe County Deputies Cody Maples and Allen Henderson that the bag contained cotton candy, according to the report.
But a field test showed otherwise.
The bag’s contents tested positive for meth and MDMA, a recreational drug. Fincher and Morris were arrested as a result, according to a lawsuit filed by Fincher on Thursday. She was charged with trafficking meth and possession of meth with the intent to distribute. It was not clear whether Morris was also charged.
Fincher would spend more than three months in jail and is now suing Monroe County, the two deputies who arrested her and the company responsible for the drug test that confused her sugary snack with a Schedule 1 drug.
The lawsuit, which was obtained by WMAZ, states that the roadside test kit was manufactured by North Carolina-based company Sirchie. The suit alleges that Sirchie’s Nark II roadside test has “a history of producing false positive results.”
An employee who answered a reporter’s call to Sirchie’s main phone line late Monday afternoon said a spokesman wouldn’t be in until Tuesday.
The suit says Fincher was held on a $1 million cash bond, which she was unable to pay, causing her to remain incarcerated. In March 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations crime lab found that the blue material was actually cotton candy, as Fincher had told the deputies. Fincher was not released from jail until April 4, 2017, and the charges against her were dropped April 18.
Fincher claims her incarceration forced her to miss the birth of her twin grandsons and prevented her from being with her daughter during a miscarriage. The lawsuit alleges that the deputies “had no training in drug recognition” and should have known the roadside test was flawed. Moreover, they failed to disclose the “unlikelihood that such a large quantity of methamphetamine would be transported in an open, large plastic bag laying on the floorboard of a car.”
Instead, the suit says, the two deputies “falsely presented their findings to the court as scientifically reliable.”
Fincher is seeking punitive damages from Monroe County, Sirchie and the two deputies responsible for her arrest, according to the suit. Fincher did not respond to a Facebook message Monday evening, and her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
WMAZ reports that Monroe County police referred inquiries to Benjamin Vaughn, attorney for Monroe County. Vaughn’s office did not return a call requesting comment Monday afternoon.