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Photo: DanHenson1/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Photo: DanHenson1/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Powdered drywall mistaken for cocaine lands innocent man behind bars for 90 days

Karlos Cashe thought he was facing a minor traffic ticket when he was pulled over by police in Oviedo, Florida, in March for driving without headlights.

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When an officer saw white powder on his seat and floorboard, though, the situation became much more serious.

Cashe was on probation at the time on marijuana and cocaine charges from 2015.

He was put in handcuffs when court records showed he was out past his court-ordered curfew. Hours later, police realized the system was not up to date and Cashe had not violated his curfew.

When the officer field tested the white powder, it came up positive for cocaine, officials said.

“I know for a fact (that) it’s drywall because I’m a handyman,” Cashe said. “I said that continuously during the arrest stop.”

A K-9 unit arrived at the scene and the dog alerted on Cashe’s vehicle and an Oviedo Police Department sergeant field tested substances he believed to be marijuana and more cocaine.

When those tests came back positive, Cashe was taken to the Seminole County Jail.

Because he was accused of violating probation, he was denied bond.

“I sat there 90 days knowing I was innocent,” Cashe said.

Nearly three months later, lab tests on the substances collected in Cashe’s vehicle came back with results showing there were no drugs in the car at the time of his arrest.

Cashe walked out of jail last week, and is now hoping his story might cause police to take closer looks in this type of case.

“This is what I want to stop,” he said. “I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

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