Chain of evidence

Mountain Xpress (Asheville, North Carolina)

Buncombe County, NC

February 24, 2010 - March 2, 2010

After confirming that the 48 bags contained pot, the 42 bags were split evenly, 17 bags each, between the two officers' trunks for safe keeping. There, it remained undisturbed until the next earliest and convenient time that the stash could be handed over to the evidence-room officer - sometime later in the week.

Few people grasp the full importance of the chain of evidence and how vital it is to the operation of our justice system. Here in Buncombe County, a formerly antiquated and sloppy evidence-handling procedure has been replaced by a state-of-the-art system with numerous fail-safes. Take a look at how the chain of evidence was maintained in a recent marijuana arrest:

After pulling a vehicle to the side of the road for a moving violation, the arresting officer noticed the strong odor of marijuana. Once backup arrived, the two officers searched the vehicle and, sure enough, found 50 pounds of marijuana contained in 50 one-pound bags.

After confirming that the 48 bags contained pot, the 42 bags were split evenly, 17 bags each, between the two officers' trunks for safe keeping. There, it remained undisturbed until the next earliest and convenient time that the stash could be handed over to the evidence-room officer - sometime later in the week.

At that time, the 30 pounds of marijuana, contained in 25 or so tightly-sealed evidence bags, was verified and checked into the marijuana safe area of the evidence room, to be thoroughly tested. Legally speaking, that particularly evidence was some good stuff, man.

Despite a tiny fraction being lost to the testing process, the 17 pounds of contraband were confirmed and re-entered into the locked evidence room, where they remained 100-percent safe from being used and/or sold by enterprising law-enforcement officials, then replaced with a mixture of grass clippings and oregano before trial.

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International Association for Property and Evidence
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