Georgia woman sues Monroe County for prison time because deputies mistook cotton candy for meth
Dasha Fincher has filed a federal lawsuit against the board of commissioners in Monroe County, the two deputies, and the drug test manufacturer over the false positive.
A Georgia woman has filed a federal lawsuit in court after she spent three months in jail over a false positive on a drug test that caused her to miss "several serious life events," including her daughter suffering a miscarriage and her daughter-in-law giving birth to her twin grandsons.
According to WMAZ, Dasha Fincher's incarceration can be traced back to New Year's Eve 2016, when two deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Cody Maples and Allen Henderson, stopped her car for an apparent violation.
The deputies saw a large plastic bag inside the car and questioned Fincher over its contents, following which they were told it was blue cotton candy. But they didn't believe her and administered a roadside test called the Nark II roadside kit — known to have a history of producing false positives —that determined that the bag contained methamphetamine.
The incident report filed by the deputies described the bag's contents as "a blue crystal-like substance,' and suggested Fincher was "shaking" and "very anxious" during the stop. She was subsequently arrested and charged with meth trafficking and possession of meth with the intent to distribute, with a judge setting her bond at a lofty $1 million.
Because Fincher couldn't afford to pay the bond, she remained in jail for the next 13 weeks while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) tested the bag and its contents. In March 2017, it was revealed that the tests had concluded the substance in the bag was not meth but it took another four weeks after that for Fincher to see the charges against her dropped. However, the arrest for trafficking of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute remained on her record.
This past week, Fincher filed a federal lawsuit against the board of commissioners in Monroe County, the two deputies, and the drug test manufacturer, Sirchie Acquisition company. In her lawsuit, she argues that the Monroe County Sheriff's Office was reckless and negligent and violated her civil rights, stemming from allegations she was not given treatment for a serious medical ailment she suffered from, and not given appropriate treatment for an injury she suffered while in jail.
As for the deputies, the suit claims neither was trained to identify street drugs or perform the Nark II test. The suit also states that Nark II had a history of false positives and that the blue food coloring used in the cotton candy could have likely caused the test to come out positive for methamphetamine.
According to a copy of the suit obtained by Heavy, Fincher claims the defendants are responsible for "false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious arrest, malicious imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent employment, negligent training, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent inmate care, negligent medical care, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, improper manufacture of the roadside drug testing kit, negligent design of the drug testing kit, failure to warn of false results from the drug testing kit, failure to provide adequate instructions on use of the roadside drug testing kit, and personal injury."
The lawsuit is asking a jury to award punitive damages from the county, the two deputies, and Sirchie, as well as attorney and court fees.