Northeast Ohio Media Group, cleveland.com
BYLINE: Ida Lieszkovszky, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Warrensville Heights, OH
A retired Warrensville Heights police officer and later evidence room tech was charged with stealing drugs and cash from the department.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A retired Warrensville Heights police officer was indicted this week on charges of stealing drugs and cash from the police department and tampering with evidence to cover up the theft.
Andre Harmon, 54, who was working as a technician in the department's evidence room, faces charges of theft in office, drug possession, tampering with records, and interfering with forfeitable property.
Court records state that Harmon stole marijuana, cocaine and cash from the evidence room over the years, and then faked affidavits and other court records to cover his tracks. The indictment says the crimes took place from 2010 to 2013.
According to a spokesman with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Harmon worked as a police officer in Warrensville Heights for nearly 22 years before retiring. He then decided to return to work as an evidence-room technician.
State law requires that evidence such as drugs is destroyed once a case is closed and that cash goes into a law enforcement trust fund. Prosecutors said Harmon claimed to have destroyed the drugs, but instead stole them.
In July of 2013, prosecutors reported, Harmon's housemate reported finding boxes and black bags, and smelling a suspicious odor emanating from beneath their porch on East 123rd Street in Cleveland. The boxes and bags turned out to be evidence from the Warrensville Heights Police Department.
Investigators later found more stolen evidence containers inside the home, with money and drugs inside them, prosecutors said.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
International Association for Property and Evidence
"Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement"