Shai Werts was facing drug charges after Saluda County police stopped him for speeding on July 31.
What We Know:
- Werts was initially placed under arrest for speeding, then officers began questioning him about the white substance on the hood of his Dodge Charger, which he claimed was bird poop.
- According to the police report, an officer “tested the white powder substance on the hood with a cocaine kit and it did test positive with two kits in two different places of the hood of the car.”
- Possession of cocaine was added to Werts’ charges. As a result, he was suspended from the football team at Georgia Southern.
- “Upon a thorough review of the report, the dash camera, and the body camera, Deputy Solicitor Al Eargle and I made the decision that the charge should be appropriately dismissed,” Solicitor Rick Hubbard said in a statement. “The charge lacks prosecutorial merit and the evidence is insufficient for the State to proceed. The charge was officially dismissed on Thursday, August 8, 2019.”
- Al Eargle, the Deputy Solicitor for the 11th Judicial Circuit, told ESPN the results of another test of the substance by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division “could not tell us what it was.” Eargle said regardless of the results, “I could not prove that Mr. Werts had knowledge of what the substance was on his vehicle.”
This isn’t the first time a field test got it wrong. In 2017, Fox 5 conducted a study on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s drug test reports. They found that 145 field test kits produced false-positive results, landing innocent citizens in legal trouble.
Fox 5 reported law enforcement officers across Georgia have made felony arrests after field test kits mistook items like soap, drywall, air fresheners and candle wax for illegal drugs.
- According to the report, the field tests kits incorrectly identified heroin 11 times, ecstasy 24 times, cocaine 40 times, and methamphetamines 64 times.
Werts will return to the field on Aug. 31 in Georgia Southern’s first game of the season against LSU.