As crime lab cases climb, Montana aims to make sex assault evidence kits more efficient

"With DNA technology moving in the direction it's moving, we're able to get DNA from things we couldn't in the past," October 10, 2017 The state crime lab is in the preliminary stages of reconfiguring the sexual-assault evidence kits used by doctors and nurses to collect samples from women who have been raped. Since 2011, the number of cases the la...
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Former state crime lab employee gets suspended sentence for stealing drug evidence

"His initials, his name, is on almost every piece of evidence that came into our laboratory," she said Enter Article DATE HERE An evidence technician at the Montana State Crime Lab who stole opioids that were being stored as evidence in criminal cases, forcing prosecutors to drop charges against 69 defendants across the state, was given a susp...
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65K items cram evidence building — and Billings police are asking for more storage room

Part of what's driving the higher estimate is meeting the storage standards of the International Association for Property and Evidence, said Allen Rapacz, president of Schutz Foss, the architectural firm designing the new facility. May 9, 2017 The pungent odor of marijuana permeates Beth Gartner's workplace — a place where Gartner knows the wh...
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The Montana Department of Justice is working to find storage and test nearly 1,400 rape kits.

The MSU Voice Center wanted to get the word out that although there is a backlog of rape kits, action is being taken to resolve the issue April 5, 2017 BOZEMAN - Wednesday at Montana State University, the Voice Center presented the efforts being made across the state to end the rape kit backlog.The MSU Voice Center wanted to get the word out that a...
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Montana gets $2M federal grant for untested rape kits

Enter Headline here September 29, 2016 HELENA – Montana will test 1,400 rape kits dating back to 1995 that weren't submitted to the state's crime lab by local law enforcement authorities, Attorney General Tim Fox said Thursday. The state also will add personnel to track the kits, counsel victims and investigate when DNA from the kits result in rape...
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Billings Police employee charged with stealing drugs from evidence locker

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Billings Gazette, BYLINE: ASHLEY NERBOVIG, Billings, MT Coby James Lewis, 25, pleaded not guilty Friday to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor theft. Gazette Staff A former Billings Police Department...
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Gazette opinion: The good, bad and ugly of the state crime lab cases

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THE BILLINGS GAZETTE, BYLINE: THE BILLINGS GAZETTE EDITORIAL BOARD Billings, MT The autopy room at the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula, Montana photographed in October 2015. KURT WILSON, Missoulian A continuing investigation at the state crime lab in ...
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Guest opinion: Saving DNA evidence helps convict real criminals

The Billings Gazette, BYLINE: JESSIE MCQUILLAN and DAN WEINBERG The Billings Gazette Link to Article Billings, MT The Montana House of Representatives has before it a bill that, if enacted, will measurably improve our justice system. Senate Bill 58, co-sp...
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