Woman Spends Months in Jail Over Cotton Candy Mix-Up

Needless to say, she's now suing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2018 7:00 AM CST
Woman Spends Months in Jail Over Cotton Candy Mix-Up
A cotton candy vendor during the first inning of a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics Thursday, May 21, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) – Dasha Fincher had a bag of blue cotton candy in the car with her when two Monroe County, Georgia, sheriff's deputies pulled the vehicle over on New Year's Eve in 2016. The deputies—who said they pulled the car over because of its dark window tint, but allegedly later admitted the windows were legal—asked her about the bag but didn't believe it was cotton candy. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes Fincher and the driver allegedly had suspended licenses at the time.) A roadside field test said there was meth in the bag and Fincher was arrested and charged with meth trafficking and possession with intent to distribute. She couldn't pay her $1 million bond and stayed in jail for three months; in March 2017, Georgia Bureau of Investigation tests revealed there had been no meth in the bag. Four weeks later, charges were dropped, and now Fincher is suing over the whole ordeal, WMAZ reports.

Her federal lawsuit names the county, the deputies, and Sirchie Acquisitions, the company that manufactures the roadside drug test. Fincher alleges the test has a history of false positives, and that the blue food coloring used in the cotton candy triggered one. She also alleges the deputies were not trained in administering the test or in identifying street drugs, and that they ultimately violated her civil rights as a result. The suit says Fincher's incarceration caused her to miss "several major life events," including the birth of her twin grandsons, and that when her son brought the babies to the jail to meet her, he was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant. Shortly thereafter, the suit says that Fincher, "frustrated with her incarceration," broke her hand on a concrete wall. (Krispy Kreme doughnut flakes have also been mistaken for meth.)

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