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DA: Detective Stole, Used Prescriptions Drugs Stored In Evidence

WKBW News,
BYLINE: Rachel Elzufon
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Jamestown, NY

JAMESTOWN, NY (WKBW) - Accusations against a Jamestown police detective have cast doubt on hundreds of cases.

Now, investigators must be prepared to re-establish every crime involving former Detective Eric Corey.

A 14-year veteran with the Jamestown Police Department, Corey could have put hundreds of cases in jeopardy.

Corey is accused of stealing prescription drugs, including Hydrocodone and Vicodin, from sealed bags in the very evidence room he was in charge of.

Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says they believe Corey was using the drugs he took. He had been the head of evidence for Jamestown Police for about two years.

The allegations came to light several weeks ago, when an informant accused Corey of soliciting information for money to buy Vicodin. That tip ended up being false, but it lead police on an investigation that unraveled Corey's career.

Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says "he's expressed concern over his actions and the fallout he understands that's coming from these actions."

The fallout: the possible impact on hundreds of cases. Foley is planning on notifying attorneys in Chautauqua County. He explains "my jobs legally is to put the ball into the hands of defense attorneys and let them make the decisions. We'll deal with that on a case by case basis."

The District Attorney has already given a plea to Eric Chant -- who kidnapped a 12-year-old girl from Jamestown before she managed to escape in Poland. Eric Chant plead guilty to rape.

However, evidence from the Chant case was being stored while Corey was in charge. Even though none of the evidence against Chant involved prescription drugs investigators believe Corey stole, the defense of tampering with evidence still comes into play.

The New York State Police is investigating the criminal aspect -- including determining if Corey could have tampered with other evidence, such as drugs, weapons and anything else stored at the police station.

Investigators believe Corey could have been under the influence while on the job. Foley says this could hurt cases as well, because "if you have someone who was tracking evidence, marshaling evidence in the evidence room, and he may be doing it under the influence of a narcotic -- that goes to the weigh of the evidence."

District Attorney Foley calls this an "isolated case" and does not believe any other officer knew about this.

Chief Snellings says this could change police policy on how evidence is handle.

Corey resigned Friday at nine in the morning. It's still unclear if charges will be filed.

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