Winnemucca detective overdoses on drugs stolen from evidence

A bag with the drugs that killed him was found in his pants pocket.

January 22, 2021

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (KOLO) -Winnemucca Police Department Detective Matthew Morgan died June 25, 2020, in an evidence vault after taking drugs left in evidence storage, the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office said Friday.

"The toxic levels of methamphetamine and fentanyl in Detective Morgan's system at time of autopsy, as well as other evidence, indicate habitual or regular use of narcotics," the district attorney's office said.

A bag with the drugs that killed him was found in his pants pocket.

A review showed four cases where drugs appeared to have been tampered with. Either the weight of the drugs in evidence changed or, in one case, a drug was replaced with gypsum and calcium carbonate. All the cases were closed. None were pending.

Evidence from Morgan's phone showed evidence of purchase of cocaine and methamphetamine several times in the last couple of years, the report said.

Only Morgan and two others had access to the evidence vaults. There's no evidence of any other employee being involved, and new procedures have been put in place to protect evidence in the future.

Had Morgan survived he would have faced felony and misdemeanor charges, the report said.

"We want you the public to know that the events that led up to the death of Morgan were the actions of one man and are not reflective of the honest hard-working men and women of the Winnemucca Police Department,," the department said in a statement. "The men and women of the Winnemucca Police Department are honored to serve you the community and are dedicated to continually improving our already amazing relationship that we share with you."

Copyright 2021 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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