A woman spent three months behind bars because she couldn't afford the $1m bond slapped on her for suspected possession and trafficking of methamphetamine.
That sounds reasonable enough for a horrific drug – just check out these before-and-after tweaker snaps – except that the substance Georgia cops pulled from 64-year-old Dasha Fincher's car wasn't crystal meth at all. It was candy floss.
According to a lawsuit filed by Fincher against Monroe County and the Sheriff's deputies who nicked her, she and her boyfriend, who was driving, were pulled over on 31 December 2016 because the cops thought the tinting on the car windows was too dark.
After clarifying that it was in fact fine, the officers asked to search the car and found "a large, open clear plastic bag which contained a light blue substance, spherical in shape" beneath the vehicle's floor.
Candy floss will crystallise when compressed or wet, and the boys in blue must have been bingeing some Breaking Bad because obviously that was some of Heisenberg's finest methamphetamine right there. Right? The roadside test – made by Sirchie Acquisition Company, which was also targeted in the suit – appeared to confirm it anyway.
Though Fincher "repeatedly professed her innocence and stated that the blue substance was, in fact, cotton candy", she and her partner were arrested on drugs charges.
Fincher was left in jail for three months while the "meth" was poked and prodded at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. During this time, she said she missed the births of her son's twins and wasn't there to support her daughter through a miscarriage. She also claimed that she was denied treatment for a broken hand and ovarian cyst.
Though forensics turned up "no controlled substances" on 22 March 2017, Fincher wasn't released until 4 April, almost another two weeks.
"At first I kept thinking I was going to get out, then the next day came, and I'd think, 'Maybe I'll get out tomorrow.' Then tomorrow turned into the next day," she told telly news network CNN. "What I was most scared of was my granddaughter forgetting who I was."
Fincher hopes her case will lead to changes in the system. "I think the best thing they could do would be to change the [drug testing] policy, or change how they test, or have more training. Because it's crazy, the way it happened. It took so long.
"I've lost a lot I can't get back. Three months is a long time."
The moral of the story? Ensure every suspicious nook and cranny of your motor is clear of anything even remotely resembling a controlled substance. Even a little taste test would have had this whole sorry episode licked. ®
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