A woman is suing Monroe County, Georgia, along with a North Carolina firm after a roadside drug evaluation popular with law enforcement agencies identified her cotton candy since methamphetamine.
The woman, Dasha Fincher of Monroe County, seeks unspecified damages alleging malicious and false arrest and imprisonment, one of many other ailments, in the episode on New Year’s Eve 2016.
The lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 15 at U.S. District Court in Macon, asserts that since she could not pay a $1 million bond on charges methamphetamine trafficking and ownership, Fincher was held in prison for at least three months in early 2017 prior to a state laboratory test discovered that the false positive.
The charges have been dropped in April 2017.
The lawsuit says Fincher was a passenger in the vehicle as it was discontinued on Dec. 31, 2016. It asserts that Monroe County sheriff’s deputies said that they stopped the car since it had dark tinted windows and subsequently became leery of this bag of blue cotton candy that Fincher had been holding.
In video in the deputies’ dashboard camera which was supplied to NBC News from Fincher’s lawyer, James Freeman, both deputies could be viewed sniffing the tote as Fincher clutches her palms to her face. The movie, which finishes with Fincher’s being handcuffed, comprises captioned comment from Freeman.
“I simply could not believe it was occurring,” Fincher said Tuesday in a statement supplied by her lawyer. “Being wrapped up was tough on me since I had been away from my loved ones. “I was scared of my granddaughter forgetting who I was,” she explained. “My twin grandsons were created and that I had been presumed to be in the delivery area. My daughter had a miscarriage and that I could not match her.”
According to the lawsuit, the field test was administered with a NARK II meth reagent pouch manufactured by Sirchie Acquisition Co. of Youngsville, North Carolina. It accuses Sirchie of neglect in its own production of this NARK II and in its instruction of its customer agencies.
In 2015, the Innocence Project, an arm of the Marshall Project, a criminal justice investigative group, alleged that the NARK II has been widely known to make false positives. It stated that the NARK II had occasionally confused the herb rosemary for bud, engine oil for heroin, Jolly Ranchers candy for meth and breath mints for crack.
A agent for Sirchie stated Tuesday the firm had no opinion.
Not one of the other defendants — such as the deputies involved in the arrest and the county Board of Commissioners — had reacted to the lawsuit because of Tuesday. Monroe County Attorney Benjamin Vaughn did not respond to a request for comment.
“That is over the usual Monroe County, Georgia, difficulty,” Freeman said Tuesday. “These $ two drug test kits have been marketed by Sirchie nationally. They abandon a man presumed guilty until proven innocent.
“You are able to arrest a criminal once you obtain laboratory results, but you could not offer an innocent individual back their time,” he explained.