GIST: "Rebecca Shaw is not a criminal, but for months, she was treated like one. The mother of four -- who didn't break the law or do anything wrong -- sat in jail for five long, agonizing months. “It felt like my whole life was over. It was terrible," Rebecca exclaimed.  "My kids were devastated. I was away for five months. I cried constantly.” Rebecca's perfect storm of hell started when she ran out of gas on the road. A Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled up behind her, but instead of helping her, he asked if he could search her car. “[He] said, 'What are these?' Rebecca recalled. She told him they were vitamins, but he apparently didn’t believe her. “He said, 'They don't look like vitamins. They look like oxycodone,’” Rebecca continued. The deputy pulled out a field drug test kit -- kits used by law enforcement all over the country to detect illegal drugs.  To Rebecca's shock, the presumptive kit produced a positive hit for oxycodone. Rebecca insisted the pills were vitamins, not oxy.  But it didn't help.  "My heart just sank. I said, ‘That’s wrong!" Rebecca was arrested, booked, and charged with trafficking oxycodone. With no way to pay a $5,000 bond she sat in jail. "It was scary being in there and having a public defender that didn't believe me," she continued. After her husband was able to come up with the bail money, Rebecca waited another seven months for the state crime lab to confirm the pills were, in fact, vitamins. The case was dropped but the damage had already been done, explained her new attorney Patrick LeDuc.  "He does the field drug test and because it tests positive, nothing else mattered. It didn't matter she had no prior record, it didn't matter she was out of gas.” FOX 13 previously conducted a yearlong investigation on the unreliability of field drug test kits and how they often get it wrong.  Scientists showed us how household items like oregano, chocolate, and cough medicine tested positive for drugs, and how lives were turned upside down. Despite all of that, law enforcement continues to use these faulty drug test kits and innocent people continue to pay the price. "They’re putting innocent people in jail and ruining people’s lives," Rebecca added. Rebecca is considering her legal options, but so far, no lawsuit has been filed."

The entire  story can be read at:

Read 'FOX 13 investigation shines new light on bad drug tests August 11, 2015,  also by  reporter Gloria Gomez, at the link below: "Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder sat down with Fox 13 to explain a recent field trip by local leader: "Myself, Judge Pomponio, State Attorney Mark Ober, Assistant State Attorney Mike Sinacor and Public Defender Julie Holt.” All these Tampa Bay leaders went on a very important field trip. "Whether its additional funding for FDLE or whether it’s our own crime lab this is something that needs to happen now, " said Judge Holder. Judge Holder says the goal was to figure out why our state crime lab is so backlogged. “We have men and women sitting in jail languishing if they cannot make bond awaiting that scientific testing that should be performed immediately," said Holder. But it's not -- often it takes months. Back in February we told you about a military officer falsely arrested on the results of a field drug test. It showed the pill in his pocket was meth. But it turns out the nark 2, got it wrong. It took FDLE nearly five months to clear his name, turning his life upside down. "Injustice pretty much sums it up perfectly," Judge Holder says that should have never happened. "We can’t turn our law enforcement officers into scientists there not scientists there law enforcement officers, Holder added, and to submit the sample and if turns blue it’s this if it turns purple it’s this that’s just unacceptable especially if there is no evidence to support its reliability and no testing to support its reliability." In fact, our 6-month investigation has shown repeatedly, how unreliable these tests are. We even went inside a forensics research lab where top researchers tested the kits. We watched as aspirin, cough medicine, coffee and spices like oregano and, even  air tested positive for illegal drugs. These are the same kits used by law enforcement all over the country to make drug arrests. Judge holder says he’s appalled. "We're dealing with the fundamental rights of men and women we're incarcerating them and there just has to be a better way, " he explained. Holder says FDLE just doesn't have enough  lab techs to handle the load of confirmatory drug testing. But that could change he says public defender Julie Holt and State Attorney Mark Ober are joining forces to fix the problem. "Ms. Holt and Mr. Ober have committed their resources with their respective organizations to push for additional funding to allow more timely testing of these substances,” Holder added. “Your viewers sit out there well it won’t affect me or it won’t affect my family members but if it affects any human being then it affects us all.""

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: