Taxpayers to Be Held Liable After Cops Mistake Vitamins for Opioids and Jail Innocent Mom for Months

By Matt Agorist

Tampa, FL — Rebecca Shaw, a mother of four who has never been in trouble with the law before, ended up spending five months in jail because a field drug test falsely identified her vitamins as opioids. Now, this innocent mom is making sure no one else suffers the same injustice.

Three years ago, Rebecca’s car ran out of gas and she was stranded on the side of the road. When an officer pulled up behind her she was hoping that she would get some help. However, instead, she was wrongfully accused of a crime, kidnapped, and thrown in a cage away from her family for five months.

“My kids were devastated. I was away for five months. I cried constantly,” Shaw told FOX 13 News.

Shaw is now suing the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the manufacturer of the faulty drug test kit used to steal her freedom.

“This is a lucrative business for these manufacturers to be peddling their faulty products to law enforcement agencies. They’re lucrative and they know these tests are not working,” said Caitlin Costa, Shaw’s attorney.

The original incident happened in September of 2015 and Shaw, not thinking that she was doing anything wrong, made a mistake and allowed the officer to search her car. When he did, he found vitamins and accused her of having oxycodone.

“He said, ‘They don’t look like vitamins. They look like oxycodone,’” Rebecca told FOX 13.

The officer immediately ran a field drug test on the pills that he found and got a positive reading for opiates.

Shaw is one of many women and men to suffer horrific fates at the hands of negligent cops and their continued use of faulty field drug test kits.

In fact, tens of thousands have been convicted and served time — even earning the black mark of a felony — for crimes they likely didn’t commit, according to a report, because the cases against them relied on horribly unreliable field drug test kits.

So prone to errors are the tests, courts won’t allow their submission as evidence. However, their continued use by law enforcement — coupled with a 90 percent rate at which drug cases are resolved through equally dubious plea deals — needlessly ruins thousands of lives.

Rebecca Shaw is one of these people.

“My heart just sank. I said, ‘That’s wrong!’ It felt like my whole life was over. It was terrible,” she said.

Rebecca was arrested and charged with trafficking oxycodone, and since she was unable to pay the $5,000 bond she was forced to sit in jail for months.



“My kids were devastated. I was away for five months. I cried constantly. It was scary being in there and having a public defender that didn’t believe me,” Rebecca said.

After Rebecca’s husband was able to raise the funds to bail her out, she had to wait another seven months for the official test results to come back from the lab, which ultimately determined that the pills were vitamins and not oxycodone.

“They’re putting innocent people in jail and ruining people’s lives,” Shaw said.

Had Rebecca Shaw been falsely accused of trafficking these vitamins mistaken as opioids today, she could have very well been executed for it. 

“It is a serious injustice and, again, as a taxpayer, is frustrating that our money is going to these faulty products,” said Shaw.

“I think the time away from her children and the nightmare that she endured, it’s what is motivating her not to crawl into a cave and be silenced and move on and forget about this,” Costa added. “The idea that this could happen to someone else really bothers her.”

Sadly, Shaw’s story is extremely common and happens every day throughout the US. The standard $2 field drug tests, manufactured by The Safariland Group, have been proven to be unreliable. And according to the manufacturer, should not be used as a stand-alone test for convictions related to drug possession.

Studies have shown how everyday foods, spices, and medicine tested positive in field drug tests. In one experiment, scientists even discovered that air could set off false positive for these tests.

According to Forensic Resources:

The director of a lab recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for forensic science excellence has called field drug testing kits “totally useless” due to the possibility of false positives. In laboratory experiments, at least two brands of field testing kits have been shown to produce false positives in tests of Mucinex, chocolate, aspirin, chocolate, and oregano.

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, a Ph.D. chemist and former FBI lab supervisor, has also voiced objections, saying that he has “no confidence at all in those test kits.”

According to the national litigation and public policy organization, the Innocence Project, at any given time there are an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 innocent people currently locked in a cage in U.S. prisons.

Over the years, The Free Thought Project has reported on countless stories of odd things creating false positives in field drug tests. We have seen people put behind bars for possession of things like drywall, glazed donuts, crackers, kitty litter and baking soda.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appearedFollow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.


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9 Comments on "Taxpayers to Be Held Liable After Cops Mistake Vitamins for Opioids and Jail Innocent Mom for Months"

  1. Lil Miss Judged | July 26, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Reply

    All this corruption & avoidable stupidity through incompetence is gonna end up with absolute anarchy!
    This sort of thing is happening at every level of society.
    Criminals walk scot free because of it & corrupt judges too while innocent people end up in jail.
    When enuf of the population sees there is NO JUSTICE they grab their torches & pitchforks & hunt down the corrupt institutions & people & hang them high.
    That’s what happens over & over in history & this time wont be any different.
    And they’ll thoroughly deserve it!

    • Richard Olsen | July 27, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Reply

      It will not happen here, ever. First of all, we have had compulsory public schooling for well over 100 years in most places. The sole true purpose of those places has been, for at least ninety of those years, to ensure that as few people become educated as possible. The success of that program is evidenced by what we now mistakenly call the failure of our schools to educate. Secondly, the government, a de facto government that actually has no lawful authority to rule, and further has absolutely NO SIMILARITY TO, let alone conformity with, the constitution that is always being talked about, but which almost no one has any real understanding of, the constitution for the united states of America, controls all means of communication except oral communication in a location devoid of electronic listening equipment. Lastly, through the schooling system, controlled mass media, and political campaign rhetoric, the public now only entertains the concept of identity politics that pits each selfish group against all other such groups. So unselfish people no longer exist in sufficient numbers to stop or reverse the decline of this country into what we now refer to as “third world” conditions.

  2. The entire police department must be on drugs. Why else would they do something so stupid.

  3. I hope she gets millions and the police officer is forced to apologize to her and is retrained. I thank my Lord everyday that I left the US and its fascist society 50 years ago and never moved back!

  4. Lesson #1. NEVER willingly give up your rights. Make them get a warrant.

  5. strawberrytart | July 27, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Reply

    Maybe they should look to their Bosses at the BIG House and arrest drug dealers there!

  6. The fraudulent war on drugs and the dishonest employees of the DEA provide excellent distraction from the tons of cocaine and heroin products that have been smuggled into the US since George H. W. Bush initiated the practice in Viet Nam. The story of FBI undercover agent Darlene Novinger provides a bit of insight. Searching on the phrase, what happened at Mena , calls up many facts.

  7. No Earthly government has the authority to block an adult’s access to food or dope of their choosing.
    Examples: real cow’s milk and marijuana.
    .
    No Earthly government has the authority to force dope on anyone.
    Examples: fluoride, non-therapeutic vaccines, and psycho dope.
    .
    Even banning alcohol with an unConstitutional amendment is beyond Earthly government authority.

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