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The O.C. sheriff fired a deputy for tossing evidence. Now he has to be reinstated

Torres was terminated in 2019 after he admitted to discarding a gram of white powder, a methamphetamine pipe, a replica gun and several hypodermic syringes that he had not booked into evidence

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The Orange County Sheriff's Department has been ordered to reinstate a deputy who was fired for throwing evidence into the trash, among other infractions, according to a confidential arbitration agreement obtained by The Times.

Deputy Randolph Torres was terminated in 2019 after he admitted to discarding a gram of white powder, a methamphetamine pipe, a replica gun and several hypodermic syringes that he had not booked into evidence. He also failed to book a cellphone taken from a suspect in a firearms case and was accused of booking evidence late in 26 other cases.

Torres told sheriff's investigators at the time that he "panicked and threw the items away because he did not want to get in trouble administratively," according to the document. His actions occurred amid a sweeping internal audit of evidence booking practices in the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

"He threw away the items because he did not know how he was going to explain holding on to the methamphetamine," the document says. 

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