Woman sues over alleged false narcotics arrest

A local narcotics team has been hit with another federal lawsuit.


Andrea L. Golson filed suit in U.S. District Court against named and unknown members of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Ms. Golson was arrested on July 16, 2005, on charges of trafficking in cocaine and possession of marijuana. She was indicted, but both charges were dropped three months later, according to court records.

Ms. Golson alleges in her lawsuit that she and Daryl Goodwin were checking into the Budget Inn in Augusta when they were wrongfully swept up in the arrests of two men neither knew, Maurice S. Bradham and Demarcus Pierre Wideman.

Mr. Goodwin was charged with possession of marijuana after officers found less than an ounce of the drug on him, according to the lawsuit.

Ms. Golson alleges she was arrested, too, although the officers did not have any reason to believe she was connected to any illegal drugs.

Ms. Golson was indicted along with Mr. Bradham and Mr. Wideman on cocaine-trafficking charges, which carry a potential mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence and $200,000 fine.

Mr. Goodwin, who was with Ms. Golson, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He pleaded guilty and received a year on probation.

Mr. Bradham and Mr. Wideman pleaded guilty to cocaine charges. Mr. Bradham was sentenced to one year in jail and 10 years probation.

Mr. Wideman was sentenced to six months in jail and six years on probation, according to court records.

Ms. Golson's federal lawsuit is the third suit filed against the narcotics unit in the past year.

During that time, most of the narcotics officers have left the department or transferred to other divisions.

Federal agents have investigated at least two narcotics officers.

One pleaded guilty to lying to a federal agent and is awaiting sentencing in federal court.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.