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Drug Field Kit False Positive Sends Man to Jail for Possession of Donut Glaze
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Krispy Kreme donut

Summary: An Orlando man was arrested after police used a field test kit on crystals they found in his car that indicated methamphetamine but was just the glaze of a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

You might think that cops know donut crumbs when they see them. Apparently, not. A 64-year-old Florida man was pulled over for speeding. When police conducted a search of his car, they found white crystals on the floor of his car that they believed to be drugs.


The incident happened in December 2015 to Daniel Rushing. He had driven a friend to chemotherapy and was now driving an older woman from his church to her home. She worked a nearby 7-eleven and would have to walk 2 miles to get home if it wasn’t for the ride.

Rushing was just pulling away from the convenience store when he was pulled over by Orlando police officer Shelby Riggs-Hopkins. She said he was going 42 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone and failed to come to a complete stop when entering the roadway. He gave his driver’s license to the officer. She noticed he had a concealed-weapons permit which Rushing confirmed. He had a pistol in the car so he was asked to step out of the car for her safety.

The cop asked to search his car. Rushing agreed but only if it meant he would get out of a ticket. The officer, along with three others that had shown up, held a very thorough inspection of his car. At the end, Officer Riggs-Hopkins said to him, “You want to tell me about what we found?”

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Confused, Rushing said, “There’s nothing to find.”

She explained that they found crystals on the floor which tested positive for methamphetamine with their field testing kit. Rushing, even more confused, said, “I’ve never even smoke a cigarette.” When shown the crystals, he explained, “That’s glaze from a Krispy Kreme doughnut. I get one every other Wednesday.”

The officers did not believe his story and arrested Rushing on charges of possessing methamphetamine while armed with a weapon. When he made his one call to his wife, Rushing said, “It was funny because I called my wife to tell her what happened, and the guy next to me waiting for the phone started to laugh. He said, ‘This is crazy. I think you got a real good lawsuit here.’” After ten hours behind bars, Rushing was released on bail.

The police department sent the evidence to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for more testing, which determined the crystals were not a controlled substance. All of the charges against Rushing were dropped.

A similar story happened northeast of Orlando in Oviedo but that time the police thought the white powder from drywall was a drug. Their drug testing field kit tested positive for cocaine. The driver of the car, Karlos Cashe, had been pulled over for driving without headlights. When the police checked his license, it indicated he was out past his court-ordered curfew. The court records turned out to be out of date and wrong.

Cashe, who worked as a handyman, ended up spending 90 days in jail until things could be cleared up. Orlando and Oviedo police departments both use a cheap field kit for testing drugs.

Sadly, this is not uncommon results for these kinds of field kits. An investigation last year by ProPublica and The New York Times found that tens of thousands of people end up behind bars each year on false positives. Florida’s law enforcement lab reports that 21 percent of the evidence police believe is meth is not and half of the evidence turns out to not even be an illegal drug at all. As ProPublica states, “When we examined the department’s records, they showed that officers, faced with somewhat ambiguous directions on the pouches, had simply misunderstood which colors indicated a positive result.”

Based on those numbers, Rushing decided to file a lawsuit against Orlando. He reached a settlement with the city for $37,500. The Orlando police department has used his case as a reason to give their officers additional training on how to use field kits.

Rushing holds no ill will against the department and said the arresting officers were “polite and nice.” His only problem and the reason he even filed a lawsuit is the NIK field kits that the department uses. He said, “These kits give a false positive 1 out of every 5 times. I’m thinking about running for statehouse next year. And if I do, I’d like to get something done about these kits.”

His next step is to get his record expunged since it still shows that he was arrested for possession of meth while armed. He also stopped eating doughnuts in the car.

Would you be upset if you were wrongfully arrested? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about other doughnut news, read these articles:




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