It’s been more than 90 days since Karlos Cashe, a resident of Oviedo, Fla., was pulled over for driving without headlights. The Florida man was facing nothing more than a minor traffic ticket, save for the fact that there seemed to be some powdery white substance in his car.
The police officer who made the traffic stop spotted the substance and immediately thought the worst: drugs. Considering Cashe was already on probation for a 2015 charge for possession of marijuana and cocaine, the officer made an arrest.
Cashe, though, denied the charges. He was sure there was no cocaine in his car at the time of the arrest.
“I know for a fact (that) it’s drywall because I’m a handyman, I said that continuously during the arrest stop.”
Still, the cops would only listen to evidence — as the should — so a K-9 unit was called to the site of the traffic stop. The dog made a positive ID of the substance, corroborating the officer’s suspicions of the white powder being cocaine. A field officer was also called to the scene for a drug test and it came back positive.
The police promptly made an arrest that will send Cashe to the Seminole County Jail for 90 days. Since he was on probation already, his bond was denied.
It took the laboratory 90 days to come back with the official test of the substance. It was not cocaine, it was actually drywall — exactly what Cashe had been saying all along. The test confirmed that there were no drugs present in Cashe’s car at the time of his arrest.
He finally was released from jail last week. “This is what I want to stop,” he said.
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”
The case seemed to have opened the eyes of the Oviedo Police Department, as they told Jeff Levkulich from Channel 9 News that they will be reviewing their drug test kits closely to avoid this mistake from ever happening again.
While the police officer did have probable cause to make an arrest — especially considering the possession of cocaine would be considered a violation of Cashe’s probation — a more accurate drug test would’ve confirmed that the substance was, in fact, drywall and not cocaine, helping cash avoid more unnecessary jail time.
“We will probably review test kits. (We will) contact FDLE and see if there are other test kits or other brands we can use,” said Lt. Heather Capetillo with the Oviedo Police Department.
[Featured Image by An Employee of the DEA/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain]