A routine traffic stop turned into three months of jail time for a woman in Georgia after a bag of cotton candy in her car falsely tested positive for meth.
Dasha Fincher, of Monroe County, was in the car with her boyfriend on New Year’s Eve of 2016 when deputies stopped her for the tinted windows on her car. Though the window tints ended up being legal, the deputies became suspicious of a bag of cotton candy they spotted in the car and used a roadside drug kit to test it.
To Fincher’s surprise, the bright blue treat tested positive for methamphetamine.
As they moved to take her into custody, Fincher said she pleaded with the deputies to redo the test, sure something had gone wrong. “I was pretty much begging them to please test it again,” Fincher told Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander.
Fincher said the deputies refused to test the bag of cotton candy for a second time, and Fincher was charged with meth trafficking and sent to jail after her bail was set at $1 million.
She ended up remaining behind bars for an astonishing three months. “It was hard,” she said. “It was really hard … especially knowing that I was innocent."
Fincher was eventually released after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation tested the confiscated cotton candy themselves in March 2017 and the results came back negative. Fincher is now suing the Monroe County Sheriff's Office for false arrest and imprisonment.
According to the lawsuit, the deputies used a roadside testing kit called Nark II, which is distributed by Sirchie Acquisitions. The liquid of the test will change colors when mixed with heroin, cocaine, meth or other illegal drugs. However, even the manufacturer of the kit says that sometimes the test can return a false positive.
Sirchie's website states that the drug kits come with a disclosure that reads: "ALL TEST RESULTS MUST BE CONFIRMED BY AN APPROVED ANALYTICAL LABORATORY! The results of this test are merely presumptive…. Reactions may occur with both legal and illegal products."
While in jail, Fincher missed the birth of her twin grandsons, a moment she calls the worst of her time behind bars.
“I will never be able to see my grandchildren born again,” she said. “I will never be able to get those three months of my life back.”
This is not the first time drug tests have turned up a false positive in regular, everyday items.
Fincher’s attorney says there are many more cases like hers where substances like headache powder, breath mints and even vitamins all falsely tested positive.
The innocent woman says she wants an apology from the sheriff’s department more than anything.
“I think I deserve one,” she said. “Yes I do.”