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Margate cop fired after cocaine went missing

Investigators determined nothing had been turned into the agency's property evidence room.

January 11, 2020

A Margate police officer has been fired after falling under suspicion of taking a man's cocaine and later testing positive for drugs, according to newly released police records.

An anonymous police employee tipped off the police department about how Officer Christopher Kanan, 31, and a second officer didn't turn in apparent drug evidence to the agency, according to police records released Thursday.

The two officers had shown up to Northwest Medical Center on July 1 when a nurse found a baggie of drugs in the wallet of an emergency room patient. Kanan was the lead officer, according to the investigation.

Investigators determined nothing had been turned into the agency's property evidence room.

And when they interviewed the nurse who had called for help, she said she saw Kanan take "possession of the baggie," which she believed to be drugs. The hospital patient also told police he saw Kanan holding his "bag of cocaine," according to the report.

On July 8, Police Chief Jonathan Shaw ordered "a full panel drug test" and the next day, a captain escorted both Kanan and his backup officer to a Fort Lauderdale lab, where they were ordered to submit hair samples for testing, according to an internal affairs report.

The backup officer's hair did not test for any drugs, and he was found to not be at fault.

Kanan's test came back positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines, according to the internal report, at an "amount needed to confirm multiple ingestions." Investigators then pulled hospital security video and saw him leaving the hospital "wearing black latex/rubber gloves on both hands and he appeared to have an object cupped in his right hand."

Because of the Margate hospital case, Kanan was put on leave with pay on July 16 becuase "evidence exists" he took the cocaine.

Then he was arrested in Lantana in September after an undercover drug-bust. Lantana police used an informant to nab Kanan on charges of trying to buy an ounce of methamphetamine for $500 and a liter of GHB, a depressant, for $300, according to an arrest report.

Last month he agreed to receive outpatient treatment and give up his police certification to resolve that case, according to Palm Beach County court records.

After the Lantana arrest, his status with the Margate police department was changed to him being on leave without pay.

But he never resigned from the agency, and he was fired Jan. 3 because of the evidence in the Margate drug case, said Lt. Efrain Suarez on Friday.

Neither Kanan or a Margate police union representative could be reached for comment Friday.

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