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Missing evidence at drug depository spurs BPD probe

Boston Herald and Herald Media,
BYLINE: O’Ryan Johnson,
Link to Article

Boston, MA

An internal police investigation was launched into how evidence has gone missing from the Boston Police Department’s drug depository, police said.

A routine audit tagged the as-yet unidentified package as missing within the past two weeks.

“The Boston Police Audit and Review Unit investigators have discovered a discrepancy as to the location of one package of evidence at the department’s drug depository,” police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said in a statement. “The Boston Police Department is taking every appropriate investigative measure to reconcile that discrepancy.”

This comes six years after a huge missing drug scandal forced reforms at the Hyde Park warehouse, which stores all the narcotics, guns and other criminal paraphernalia that cops collect for use against crooks in court.

Driscoll said the auditing cops looked through 500 pieces of evidence and found “one package” was missing. She declined to say what sort of evidence was in the package.

“I am not going to characterize the evidence until investigators have an opportunity to determine the nature of the discrepancy,” she said. “As I mentioned, investigators only very recently identified this issue, and the (Police) Commissioner (Edward F. Davis) will give them the opportunity to determine the circumstances but expects them to do so with a sense of urgency.”

In 2006, the department ordered the first audit of evidence at the facility and eventually found 700 bags of drugs missing and 265 evidence packages tampered with — in many cases, cocaine was replaced with aspirin.

Davis ordered cops to comb through all the department’s evidence from 1990 to 2006 and then instituted reforms as to how evidence was managed and protected, including the use of video cameras.

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