Oviedo man released from jail after police mistake drywall for cocaine

- It’s the million dollar question that 57-year-old Karlos Cashe wants answered.

“How could drywall test for drugs you know?” Cashe asked. “It’s an injustice.”

The handy-man just got out of jail -- spending three months behind bars, because somehow drywall dust tested positive for drugs.

“You found drywall and you're turning it into cocaine, and it cost me 90 days in jail trying to prove my innocence,” Cashe said.

On March 22, body camera video shows how Oviedo Police began following Cashe at Harrison Street and Queen Avenue in Oviedo for driving with no headlights.  He was pulled over nearly a mile later.

After the officer runs his license he finds out Cashe is on probation for drugs, and accuses him of violating curfew -- officers search his car with a K-9, and tell him a field test came back positive for cocaine.

“They say they found that on the seat and once they got that, they looked under the seat and found some crushed up whatever,” Cashe said.

Cashe, a handyman who’s used to wearing his work, immediately knew they were wrong.

“He was like they found something in your car, I was like no way they found something, that car is brand new -- ain't never had nothing in my car, I said if you find something it was drywall,” Cashe said.

Cashe was still arrested and booked into the Seminole County Jail charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine, and violating his probation.

Three months later, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab report revealed no controlled substances were identified, and the charges were dropped.  The Oviedo Police Department says they still don’t know why the test was wrong, but they’re standing by the arrest. 

When asked if there would be any internal investigation, FOX 35 was told there would not be. 

“No,” said Lt. Heather Capetillo with the Oviedo Police Department. “There's no intent, when something comes back positive we take it, it's our probable cause and that's why we send to FDLE to confirm.”

Cashe says he’ll never get those 90 days back and wants the Oviedo Police Department to make it up to him.

“I want some compensation for them, when I make a mistake I’ve got to pay for it, that’s why I was on probation, it’s no different for them,” Cashe said.

According to the report, the curfew violation was also a mistake, the State Attorney’s Office also dropped the Marijuana charges.

 

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