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I-Team: Missing evidence impacting drug cases

LIN Television Corporation, WWLP-22News,
BYLINE: Ryan Walsh, 22News I-Team Reporter

Springfield, MA

The Attorney General's Office continues to zero in on whoever is responsible for the missing money from the Springfield police evidence room.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 22News I-Team has new information about tens of thousands of dollars missing from the Springfield police evidence room and found out this missing money has affected the outcome of drug cases.

We know now at least $25,000 disappeared. The 22News I-Team discovered there may be criminals out on the street because the missing evidence couldn’t be used in their trials.

(Did not having the money as evidence in the case did it hurt the state?) “The short answer is yes,” said Attorney Vincent Bongiorni.

(Do you think that contributed to…) “I’m sure it contributed to some verdicts and cases,” said Bongiorni.

The 22News I-Team spoke with Attorney Vincent Bongiorni who has represented at least four clients whose money was seized in drug cases, but wasn’t used in court.

“Later we find that the reason they didn’t introduce it was that the money was missing,” said Bongiorni.

The city has already returned some of his clients money and he is waiting for one more check from the police department.

“There was more than $20,000 that was missing from the first case that I had that involved that particular seizure,” said Bongiorni.

Bongiorni told the I-Team he’s never been involved in a case where money disappeared from the Springfield police department before last year.

Springfield police commissioner John Barbieri admitted in March that money was missing from their evidence locker. The Attorney General’s office the I-Team they are still investigating the case. This is the statement they sent us in March and stand by in June, “We have received the referral from the Springfield Police Department on this matter and we are providing them with assistance.” – Emalie Gainey, spokesperson for Attorney General Maura Healey

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