March 15, 2018
Police say criminal and administrative investigations were initiated in October 2017 after it was discovered that cocaine recovered as evidence in 2014 was found to be lighter than reported during its initial recovery.
According to a written statement issued today by Police Chief Paul Ferreira, the criminal investigation was turned over to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney on March 2 for their review and possible further action.
The statement said police will not comment further.
According to the statement, the discrepancy was discovered when the evidence was being weighed in preparation to use a small quantity of the cocaine for training purposes.
Police say the investigation quickly identified a sworn employee — which means an officer — as a person of interest in the missing portion of the drug.
The officer was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave and subsequent audits of other evidence recovered by the officer revealed weight discrepancies in hashish from two separate investigations. The investigations from which the evidence came from had been suspended as those cases had no suspects.
Police say the officer has since retired and is no longer a county employee. The department has reportedly tightened up procedures in order to ensure a similar scenario cannot be repeated.
The department has also conducted additional audits to ensure these incidents have not also been perpetrated by anyone else.