A Georgia woman is suing after the GBI found that the blue substance in her car that led to her spending three months in jail was not methamphetamine — it was cotton candy.
According to Macon-based WMAZ-TV, Dasha Fincher has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the board of commissioners in Monroe County, two deputies and the manufacturer (Sirchie Acquisition Company) of a drug test administered during her traffic stop.
The incident report, obtained by WMAZ, said David Morris Jr. was riding with Fincher in the passenger seat on New Year’s Eve 2016 when deputies Cody Maples and Allen Henderson pulled them over for a window tint violation.
The lawsuit, also obtained by the news station, said the deputies told them the car’s window tint didn’t end up violating the law after they were pulled over.
Fincher and Morris allegedly had suspended licenses, and when the deputies searched the car they found a “plastic bag filled with a blue crystal-like substance in the passenger side floorboard,” the report said.
The report described Fincher as “shaking” and “very anxious” when asked about the contents of the baggie, and she said it was cotton candy.
The lawsuit claims that police dashcam video shows Fincher and Morris were both “calm” during the encounter.
The substance was tested using a Nark II roadside kit and came back positive for meth, and both Morris and Fincher were arrested, the lawsuit said. The test kits, according to the lawsuit, have a “history of producing false positive results.”
Fincher was charged with trafficking meth and possession of meth with intent to distribute, the lawsuit said.
The judge ordered her to be jailed on a $1 million bond, which the lawsuit said she couldn’t afford so she remained in jail for about three months while the GBI tested the substance.
In March 2017, the GBI said the blue material contained no controlled substances, and she was released from jail on April 4 with her charges dropped about two weeks later, the lawsuit said.
The suit doesn’t mention what happened to Morris after his arrest.
Fincher said her time in jail caused her to miss “several serious life events,” including the birth of two grandsons and her daughter’s miscarriage, the lawsuit said.
In the lawsuit, Fincher argues the deputies should have known the drug test could result in false positives, that it would have been unlikely for someone to leave a large bag of meth in plain sight and that the county improperly trained them how to identify illicit drugs.
The lawsuit asks for punitive damages, as well as court fees.
WMAZ reported that sheriff’s office spokesman Ricky Davis referred questions about the case to Monroe County attorney Benjamin Vaughn. Vaughn did not respond to the news station’s request for comment.
Zachary Hansen, a Georgia native, covers economic development and commercial real estate for the AJC. He's been with the newspaper since 2018 and enjoys diving into complex stories that affect people's lives.