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Called into question: Police say changes made after evidence in high profile cases compromised


Hawaii County police attribute the loss of DNA evidence in two separate high-profile 2016 criminal cases to rodents June 11, 2018 KAILUA-KONA — The safety and integrity of collected police evidence has been called into question as reports of lost and stolen evidence from storage lockers have come to light. Hawaii County police attribute the loss of...

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Leesburg Police looks to go high-tech with evidence system

It's not just the storage that is the problem. Police staff are "burning" discs and making other copies that must be shared with prosecutors and defense attorneys and others June 9, 2018 LEESBURG — Sherlock Holmes would never think of leaving Baker Street without his deerstalker hat and a magnifying glass. If Leesburg police have their way Monday, ...

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Editorial: Nearly 5,000 untested rape kits signals ongoing injustice to Missouri victims

Lawmakers who care about protecting women should give their full support to this legislation to break the logjam of rape kits sitting on shelves, gathering dust. Enter Article DATE HERE Missouri's backlog of nearly 5,000 untested rape kits represents the failure of the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously. Shame on law enfo...

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Ex-Deputy Pleads Not Guilty to Drug, Theft Charges

A former Burleigh County sheriff's deputy has pleaded not guilty to charges that he stole evidence from drug cases. Enter Article DATE HERE BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former Burleigh County sheriff's deputy has pleaded not guilty to charges that he stole evidence from drug cases. Thirty-one-year-old Kerry Komrosky entered his plea Tuesday. The Bi...

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Fentanyl Bust In Nebraska Seizes 118 Pounds Of Opioid Drug Enough To Kill 26 Million People

The Nebraska State Patrol made a history-making drug bust as it seized 118 pounds of the opiate drug fentanyl last month. Enter Article DATE HERE Largest Fentanyl Seizure In Nebraska The bust is the largest fentanyl seizure in the history of Nebraska and among the largest in the United States. The drugs were seized during a routine traffic sto...

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Judge: Hendersonville police negligent in handling of 2003 rape kit

Enter Headline here May 25, 2018 The Hendersonville Police Department was negligent when it failed to deliver a rape kit to the TBI for testing for more than a decade, Judge Dee David Gay ruled last month in his dismissal of a rape charge that dates back to 2003. Jason Swinburne Augustine, 55, was indicted by a Sumner County grand jury in October o...

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Gwinnett deputy resigns amid investigation into missing cocaine evidence

According to authorities, in at least one case three kilograms of cocaine were taken from the scene, but Riggins checked only one kilogram into evidence,e May 21, 2018 A Gwinnett County sheriff's deputy resigned last week amid an investigation that revealed two kilograms of cocaine never made it to the evidence room at the county's jail. Antoine Ri...

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Guns stolen from evidence room of Lithonia police department

internal audit found a handful of guns and other police department property was taken from the evidence room at the Lithonia Police Department May 22, 2018 A small DeKalb County police department is dealing with allegations of serious internal theft. The Bulldog learned, an internal audit found a handful of guns and other police department property...

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Worker finds unsecured box of guns, evidence in trash at Harris County courthouse

"There's not an evidence room in this town that has not had problems holding onto their evidence," he said. "It happens probably more than we know." May 19, 2018 A worker stumbled across a box of guns and money sitting with the trash on Thursday at the Harris County courthouse, where a would-be thief apparently ditched the stash of decade-old evide...

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Flood of Trouble: Hollywood Police evidence vault flooded with sewage, are criminal cases at risk?

An internal police memo says "over 1,200 items had to be removed from the vault and dried." MAY 19, 2018 (WSVN) - A sewage leak inside a South Florida police department left evidence — soaked. The question now: could it sink pending criminal cases? 7's Brian Entin investigates in our special report called "Flood of Trouble." Evidence laid out all o...

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Former Crandall police chief arrested on charges for theft of firearm, tampering with evidence

A department owned AR-15 and department owned shotgun were recovered from him as well as 2 firearms that he was in possession of that had been taken out of the Department Evidence Room." May 19, 2018 CRANDALL, Texas — The former chief of police for the Crandall Police Department has been arrested and charged with theft of a firearm by a public serv...

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Plaintiffs suing Memphis for untested rape kits hope to be considered ‘class action

Among other benefits, it would allow them to be awarded up to $10 million in damages rather than $700,000. May 10, 2018 MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rape victims are still waiting to get justice as the lawsuit against the City of Memphis for the thousands of untested rape kits moves forward. Valencia Woodin is one of those victims. She was raped at a hotel fiv...

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Arrest made in 16-year-old Athens murder case

"As a result (of the DNA match) detectives from ACCPD have been actively investigating this case for the past six months with the assistance of the DeKalb County Probation Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI,". May 11, 2018 A DNA match led to an arrest Tuesday in a 16-year-old Athens murder case. Pamela Crisler, a 49-year-old mental...

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Ex-Quartzsite police evidence tech accused of stealing $20K

Quartzsite police evidence technician has been indicted for allegedly stealing money she was responsible for safeguarding as evidence. May 9, 2018 PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say a former Quartzsite police evidence technician has been indicted for allegedly stealing money she was responsible for safeguarding as evidence. The Arizona Attorney General...

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Former Gates Co. Sheriff’s Office sergeant charged with stealing firearms, drug possession

A federal grand jury indicted a former sergeant for the Gates County Sheriff's Office Monday with stealing firearms and possessing a significant amount of controlled substances with the intent to distribute them. May 7, 2018 RALEIGH – A federal grand jury indicted a former sergeant for the Gates County Sheriff's Office Monday with stealing firearms...

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1081 Hits

Sheriff's department packs up the pills, to be destroyed

Officers loaded up a semi with 500 boxes all full of prescription medication. May 4, 2018 FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Sheriff's Department made a lot of progress Thursday on getting rid of unwanted medication collected during drug take-back days over the last two years. Officers loaded up a semi with 500 boxes all full of prescriptio...

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1180 Hits

DNA LEADS TO ARREST OF MAN IN 1993 ST. PETE RAPE

The case went cold, but DNA evidence eventually identified Robert Burton, 48, as the suspect. May 4, 2018 DNA evidence helped Pinellas County deputies arrest a man in a 25-year-old rape case, the sheriff's office said today. According to deputies, early on Jan. 21, 1993, a 37-year-old woman was walking home from a friend's house in the 2700 block o...

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Omaha man is sentenced to life in prison for 2007 slaying of his aunt (DNA)

While family — even Simmer's mother — long suspected Simmer, the homicide unit wasn't able to pin the killing on him until Schneider ordered tests in 2016 on a DNA sample found on Blanchard's doorknob Enter Article DATE HERE Rarely is a case tinged with so much irony. Consider: Joy Blanchard, 50, was a peace lover who loved to throw parties fo...

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Man Set To Receive Largest Wrongful Conviction Settlement In Md. History (DNA)

Locked up for more than two decades after being wrongfully convicted of a gruesome killing, and now, finally cleared by DNA evidence. May 2, 2018 BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A man wrongfully convicted of killing a woman in her southeast Baltimore home is set to receive a multi-million dollar settlement. Now, the city will pay for the botched murder case that...

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1118 Hits

The Hard-to-Trace Ingredient Behind Skyrocketing Cocaine Deaths


Often laced into popular illicit drugs, synthetic opioids are killing more people than heroin or OxyContin. May 2, 2018 In the United States, more people are dying because of synthetic drugs like fentanyl than because of heroin or prescribed painkillers. While, to many, the opioid crisis has been synonymous with heroin and prescription pills, a rep...

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999 Hits

Mid-Year Update: State Legislative Reform in 2018

Visit www.endthebacklog.org April 30, 2018 Joyful Heart is leading a national campaign with an ambitious goal—to pass comprehensive rape kit reform legislation in all 50 states. Enacting Joyful Heart's six pillars is the only way to ensure that neither discretion nor resources can be used any longer as an excuse to deny sexual assault survivors the...

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988 Hits

Former DK deputy accused of theft of $25,760

Swanson is accused of taking $25,760 from the drug enforcement unit office evidence room, April 26, 2018 Former Dickinson County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Greg R. Swanson is accused of taking $25,760 from the drug enforcement unit office evidence room, according to the affidavit filed by Christopher M. Nicholson, special agent, Kansas Bureau of I...

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1170 Hits

No jail time for ex-detective: Jaramillo gets probation, house arrest, must pay restitution

Enter Headline here April 26, 2018 MORRISON – A disgraced former Rock Fall Police detective will do no jail time for stealing cash from the department's evidence locker. As a result of a plea agreement, Veronica Jaramillo, 45, of Sterling, will serve 2 and a half years' probation and 6 months' house arrest. She pleaded guilty April 18 to three felo...

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1879 Hits

Suspended West Springfield police captain arraigned, denies stealing from department

Spaulding is accused of taking more than $1,000 from the West Springfield Police Department evidence room between May 2016 and May 2017.​ April 26, 2018 SPRINGFIELD -- West Springfield Police Capt. Daniel Spaulding, suspended from the force in 2017, was arraigned Thursday in connection with the alleged theft of more than $1,000 from the department....

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Council recognizes work by evidence control officer

Dee Womack, evidence control officer with the Denham Springs Police Department, receives a letter of appreciation from City Councilman Jeff Wesley April 26, 2018 DENHAM SPRINGS – A Denham Springs police officer was called to the City Council meeting on Monday under false pretenses, but there was nothing shady going on. Dee Womack, evidence control ...

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1069 Hits

Former Sheriff's Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Felony Theft

Prosecutors accused Swanson of stealing between $1,500 and $25,000 in cash that was seized as evidence April 21,2018 ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — A former Dickinson County sheriff's lieutenant pleaded guilty to felony theft for stealing evidence from the sheriff's office. The Salina Journal reports two other charges against 49-year-old Greg Swanson were dr...

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1091 Hits

Mobile man arrested 20 years after rape, kidnapping (DNA)

DNA evidence from the victim's sexual assault kit (SAK), also known as a rape kit, matched to Williams. April 17, 2018 MOBILE, AL (WALA) - On April 5, 2018, 54-year-old Roderick Williams was transferred from the Baldwin County Jail to the Mobile County Metro Jail after indictments were handed down earlier this year for rape first degree and kidnapp...

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955 Hits

Man claiming wrongful conviction gets $10 million settlement

​ April 20, 2018 GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – A New York man who spent 17 years in prison for the slayings of his parents before a court overturned his conviction settled a civil case with Suffolk County for $10 million Thursday. He previously settled a wrongful conviction lawsuit against New York state for nearly $3.4 million. Martin Tankleff said he's "gr...

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1938 Hits

Former police officer won't go to prison in missing guns case

The case involves missing guns from evidence storage. Enter Article DATE HERE PULASKI COUNTY — A former police officer will not spend time in prison. A Pulaski County judge sentenced Ron Patrick to 18 months for obstruction of justice, but suspended it and placed him on probation. The former Pulaski County Sheriff's Deputy pleaded guilty to th...

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1001 Hits

Ex-Winter Park cop kept evidence at home and stole from dead man, investigation concludes

Evidence pictures showed $101 in cash, which went missing. April 18, 2018 A former Winter Park police officer violated department policy when he kept sensitive evidence at his home and stole about $100 in cash from a dead man, according to an internal investigation released Wednesday. Frank Cowart, 44, also faces criminal charges after he was accus...

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KBI’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative recommends all sexual assault kits be submitted to a laboratory and tested

The efforts of the Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative are supported by a federal grant awarded to the KBI by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in 2016 April 11, 2018 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) announced today that the Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative has formally recommended all sexual assault k...

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Sheriff improves evidence room tracking

The system the sheriff's department is now using is called "evidence tracker" and it is provided by Progressive Microtechnology, Inc. (PMI); a company that designs custom inventory and asset management systems that incorporate barcoding for use by police departments to help keep track of evidence. Enter Article DATE HERE Logan County Sheriff W...

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1299 Hits

Wardell Johnson sentenced to 5 years over actions surrounding death of fellow NOPD officer

Public Integrity Bureau investigators noticed that a box of .40-caliber ammunition from the Peace Court scene had never been logged into evidence. Enter Article DATE HERE Olander Holloway paused to wipe away tears as she sat facing the disgraced ex-cop whose botched response to a domestic violence incident may have contributed to the death of ...

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4815 Hits

"Buckskin Girl" case: DNA breakthrough leads to ID of 1981 murder victim

Sheriff's Office said the body was identified through DNA testing as 21-year-old Marcia King of Arkansas. She died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. April 12, 2018 TROY, Ohio -- A body that was discovered in a ditch along an Ohio roadway 37 years ago has been identified as an Arkansas woman through the use of "revolutionary" DNA ...

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How Indiana's largest police department tests rape kits

Enter Headline here April 6, 2018 Now, the state is closer to a rape kit database thanks to a bill Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law. A statewide audit done late last year found thousands of rape kits were sitting in evidence storage at law enforcement agencies. Back in December, Republican State Sen. Michael Crider, from Greenfield, promised to do...

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1093 Hits

Police destroy 100+ guns in Petersburg: ‘This may be a small step’


"When people start turning in firearms at the request of the police, they don't want them anymore or we're getting illegal firearms through tips, information being provided by the public," Miller said. April 6, 2018 PETERSBURG, Va. -- More than 100 guns that were taken off of the streets of Petersburg were destroyed by the order of the police chief...

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1335 Hits

Former GPD detective is indicted on three charges, arrested


Bayer allegedly removed opiates from the GPD. He would not say if these were taken from the department's evidence locker. April  A former Georgetown Police detective has been indicted on three charges that led to his resignation from the department in mid-March, GPD Assistant Chief Robert Swanigan said Thursday.Chris Bayer was arrested Thursda...

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936 Hits

WBRC Exclusive: New details on arrest of Birmingham police officer

A shopper at the Summit store found the rings and gave them to store employees, who held onto them for a couple of weeks, hoping the rightful owner would return to the store to get them. But when they didn't, the store called Birmingham police to come get the rings and that's where our source says Birmingham Police Officer Tony Williams got involve...

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974 Hits

After Drug Thefts – Crime Lab Improves Policies to Protect Cases

Thrush allegedly saved leftover portions of the drug evidence and later ingested them. Larson said Thrush was properly vetted for his position as chemist for the crime lab. FEBRUARY 23, 2018 On February 23, KGVO reported that Derek Thrush, a former chemist at the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula, had allegedly stolen samples of methamphetamine f...

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1109 Hits

Former Johnstown police officer sentenced to house arrest for overdose-related charges

Slisz was accused of obtaining an envelope containing 48 suspected stamp bags of heroin and six pills from a temporary evidence locker, where drugs were stored before being transferred by an evidence custodian to a secure evidence room at a later time, as outlined by the department's procedure. Enter Article DATE HERE EBENSBURG – Former Johnst...

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2061 Hits

North Carolina man arrested after decades-old rape kit tested

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said at a news conference Wednesday that 56-year-old Warren Lee Caldwell was arrested March 1 and jailed in connection with the rape of an 18-year-old in 1990 and of a 17-year-old in 1994. March 7, 2018 RALEIGH, N.C. — Police in North Carolina's largest city have accused a man of two rapes of teenagers dating back more ...

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952 Hits

Audit shows North Carolina has 15K untested sexual assault kits

A new state law required all law enforcement agencies to report their numbers of untested rape kits to the State Crime Lab earlier this year, and 92 percent of the 563 agencies responded. March 1, 2018 RALEIGH — North Carolina has more than 15,000 untested sexual assault kits, a backlog that national advocacy group described as "significant." Attor...

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1112 Hits

Former Kane County deputy sentenced to 30 days in jail for drug crimes

Zinke was charged in April 2015 after an Illinois State Police investigation into allegations she kept medications that were meant to be delivered to her department's evidence vault. March 1, 2018 A 40-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to a drug crime she committed while working as a Kane County sheriff's deputy cried Thursday after a Lake County j...

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1108 Hits

Key evidence missing in 2008 shovel beating case

According to court documents filed this month, Hansen's defense team argues crucial evidence from the attack has been destroyed by the Albuquerque Police Department, February 26, 2018 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- He's accused of savagely beating a teenage girl within an inch of her life. The victim is still recovering from the attack. Justin Hansen was arr...

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3083 Hits

Billings Police evidence tech fired after stealing oxycodone, which affected at least 138 cases

It is the second time in roughly three years drug cases have been affected by BPD evidence technicians stealing drugs. Enter Article DATE HERE A Billings Police Department employee was fired earlier this month after stealing prescription painkillers from the evidence locker, police said Tuesday. The revelation throws into question hundreds of ...

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1652 Hits

Man at center of alleged Selma gun mill pleads guilty

Adrianne Canterbury, who goes by Michelle, was accused of taking guns and jewelry out of the Selma Police Department evidence vault, the secure area where she worked. Richard Canterbury would then fix the guns so they could then be sold online. February 18, 2018 SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Richard Canterbury, one of three people accused of taking part in an...

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Record payout approved for Simi Valley man wrongfully convicted of grisly 1978 murders (DNA)

Nearly 40 years later, the 70-year-old man has a slew of powerful voices behind him as he fights to correct the injustice of having spent more than half of his life in prison for a grisly double murder he didn't commit. Feb 15, 2018 For years, from inside a cell at Folsom State Prison, Craig Coley couldn't get anyone to listen. But his message was ...

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1131 Hits

Former Anne Arundel police lab tech gets 6 months in prison for stealing drugs from department

Pleaded guilty to stealing prescription drugs from drop boxes at district stations for more than two years. February 13, 2018 A former manager of the Anne Arundel police crime lab was sentenced to six months in prison Tuesday after she'd pleaded guilty to stealing prescription drugs from drop boxes at district stations for more than two years. Tues...

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1252 Hits

Man Sues Chicago, Police for Wrongful Conviction

A man who spent nearly a quarter century in prison after being convicted of rape and murder before DNA testing prompted authorities to drop the charges has filed a lawsuit that alleges he was coerced by Chicago police detectives into confessing. Enter Article DATE HERE A man who spent nearly a quarter of century in prison after being convicted...

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Proposed Bill Would Create Database for Sexual Assault Kits

Currently, Missouri has no way of keeping track of processed sexual assault collection kits. A proposed bill hopes to fix that February 12, 2018 Currently, Missouri has no way of keeping track of processed sexual assault collection kits. A proposed bill hopes to fix that. During a hearing Monday afternoon, members of the public spoke in favor of a ...

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