LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Lynn Haven police have arrested the wife of one of the subjects of the major Lynn Haven corruption case.
Ashley Finch, the wife of Phoenix Construction Owner James Finch, was arrested Friday and charged with possession of cocaine.
According to an arrest report and information provided by the department, the arrest began with the search of a suspected drug house.
Inside investigators claim they found more than $90,000 in cash and vials that contained marijuana and cocaine residue.
As the department worked to seize the money under Florida’s Forfeiture Law, Ashley Finch said the money was hers and that she did not know anything about drugs in the house, police said.
However, when investigators sent the vials to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab, they said one of the vials containing cocaine residue and also had Ashley Finch’s fingerprint on it.
Police arrested her on Friday on one count of possession of cocaine, a felony.
Lynn Haven Police Lt. Steve McNeil tells News 13 that despite Ashley Finch’s connection to James Finch this case was handled exactly like any other criminal investigation by their agency.
Finch and Former Lynn Haven Mayor Margo Anderson are accused of bribery and corruption to funnel city contracts to Finch’s construction company.
Their trial is scheduled for late February. During a hearing this week in Tallahassee Finch’s attorneys accused Lynn Haven Police Chief Ricky Ramie, a witness in the case, of sending crude and at times racist text messages to former City Manager Mike White. Ramie denied that he ever sent racist messages.
Reached by phone Friday night James Finch said the arrest was vindictive in nature and directed by Ramie. Lynn Haven Police said Friday night that the investigation was conducted by others in the department and that Ramie recused himself from any involvement in the case.
Finch said his stepson has a marijuana card and the evidence in the case was flimsy.
“I don’t think they got anything they just wanted to piss me off,” Finch said. “He ain’t man enough to blow the horn and ask me to come outside. I’ll give him all the business he wants.”
When a reporter asked him to identify which “he” he was referring to, Finch confirmed it was Chief Ramie.
“The short, fat, little, snaggletoothed one,” Finch said.
He added that the vindictive nature of the arrest was obvious because they arrested his wife Friday afternoon knowing that he couldn’t get her out of jail until Saturday morning.
“They did this to piss me off, which they did.”
Finch also wanted to remind the police department of a famous quote from baseball legend Yogi Bera.
“It ain’t over till it’s over,” Finch said.