Police Overkill

TALLAHASSEE (CN) – Florida sheriff’s officers falsely arrested and imprisoned a woman with allergies for buying two boxes of Sudafed at a drug store, she claims in Federal Court.
     Mickey Lynn Goodson claims she bought the two boxes of the over-the-counter drug because the pharmacist recommended it. She sued Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young and the two officers who arrested her, Rodney Moore and William Buckhalt.
     Charges of possession of a controlled substance were eventually dropped, Goodson says in the July 18 complaint.
     In July 2010, Goodson says, she went to a Winn-Dixie store to get Sudafed “because she has allergy flare-ups.” Sudafed contains pseudoephedrine, which can be used as a precursor chemical in some recipes for methamphetamines.
     “The pharmacist on duty suggested that plaintiff buy two boxes of Sudafed and she did,” the complaint states.
     “Almost immediately,” defendant Officer Moore drove up in an unmarked police car, Goodson says. Moore blocked her and her husband’s car, prevented them from leaving, and asked if she had just bought Sudafed. She said she had. Moore then took the Sudafed and told the Goodsons they had to wait for more officers to arrive, detaining them against their will, they say in the complaint.
     Defendant Buckhalt arrived, with other deputies, and searched the Goodsons’ car. They were taken to a sheriff’s station, where Buckhalt asked if he could search their home. The Goodson said no, “unless there was a search warrant. Buckhalt then said, ‘Oh, I’ll get a search warrant,'” according to the complaint.
     After being held for two to three hours, Goodson says, she left the Sheriff’s office.
     She was arrested and handcuffed on her front porch, by a deputy who asked her, “What have you gotten rid of?” Goodson says.
     She replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” but was taken back to the county jail and booked in, charged with possession of a controlled substance.
     “Plaintiff was arrested on her front porch after Buckhalt obtained a search warrant on false and misleading statements and evidence,” the complaint states. “Later, when an Order Granting Motion to Suppress was entered suppressing all evidence received pursuant to the search warrant, the Judge stated that ‘had the magistrate been aware of the omission [of critical evidence and facts in the documents signed by Buckhalt to obtain the search warrant] he would not have found sufficient probable cause for issuance of a warrant.” (Brackets in complaint.)
     All charges against her were dropped on Sept. 7, 2011 – 15 months after she was arrested.
     Goodson seeks punitive damages for false arrest, false imprisonment, Fourth Amendment violations and negligence.
     She is represented by Marie Mattox, of Tallahassee.

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