Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to Vacate 21,587 Drug Conviction Cases

The cases handled by Sonja Farak—a former drug lab chemist in Amherst, Mass, who in 2014 was convicted of stealing and using drugs from the state laboratory where she worked for years—are still pending. The next wave of dismissals could include 18K or more tainted cases. April 20, 2017 This morning, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Cour...

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Ex-cop accused of evidence locker theft was back in court Monday


A retired Springfield police officer accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the department's evidence locker was in court again April 15, 2017 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A retired Springfield police officer accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the department's evidence locker was in court again on Monday. Kevin Burnham was only briefly in th...

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Allegheny County crime lab employee on leave amid probe


"Right now, we're concerned about the integrity of these approximately 600 cases to ensure these people got a fair trial," he said. "We have an ethical obligation to look at all of these and notify the [defense.] "Even if we don't think there's a problem, we still have to work the files." March 29, 2017 Allegheny County crime lab employee on leave ...

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2004 Paralympic Rings Recovered By PropertyRoom.com


Upon discovery of the ring, and the name engraved upon it, Jenny Metz, a PropertyRoom.com employee, notified her supervisor, who reached out to the Wichita Police Department. April 4, 2017 Recently, an employee at PropertyRoom.com, an online police auction website, was sorting through items received from the Wichita Police Department in Kansas to p...

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Medical issues postpone trial date for retired Springfield police officer Kevin Burnham


Medical issues postpone trial date for retired Springfield police officer Kevin Burnham March 20, 2017 Springfield-Kevin Burnham, retired Springfield police officer, appears in Hampden County Superior Court where his case was continued until March.  Burnham is facing charges with stealing nearly $385,000 in cash from the police department's ev...

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Suffolk DA issues subpoenas to Village of Lloyd Harbor, mayor says


Any and all documents regarding the surrender and disposition of weapons to the Lloyd Harbor Police Department" from Jan. 1, 1987 to present. March 17, 2017 The Suffolk County district attorney's office has issued subpoenas to the Village of Lloyd Harbor for police records, the village's mayor said Friday. One of the subpoenas requested payroll rec...

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Trial date Monday for retired Springfield Police Detective Kevin Burnham, accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from evidence room


Monday is the trial date for retired Springfield Detective Kevin Burnham, accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the Police Department's evidence room over four and a half years March 17, 2017 SPRINGFIELD -- Monday is the trial date for retired Springfield Detective Kevin Burnham, accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the Police Department's e...

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Police: Pungent pot grower to be charged with felonies


Enter Headline here Enter Article DATE HERE PORTSMOUTH — Police plan to upgrade charges to felonies against a city man accused of growing 51 marijuana plants in his basement, which were seized and stunk up the Police Department and adjacent City Hall. Plans to upgrade charges against Christian Lydon, 47, of 1156 Woodbury Ave., are cited in a m...

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Abington Police Destroy 185 Guns From 19-Year Cache In Evidence Locker: Cops


Abington Police Department disposed of 185 guns that had accumulated in their evidence locker since 1998. February 22, 2017 ABINGTON, PA -- In January, the Abington Police Department disposed of 185 guns that had accumulated in their evidence locker since 1998. The guns had been surrendered to police over the last 19 years and ultimately could not ...

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DA: Upper Dublin detective killed himself after stealing drugs or cash from dozens of cases


Enter Headline here Enter Article DATE HERE He was a well-respected police detective, a marathoner, a youth sports coach, and a dedicated dad to four children. Colleagues knew him as someone they could depend on. But Michael W. Gommer, an 18-year veteran of the Upper Dublin Township Police Department, kept a secret for years: He was a drug add...

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Manhattan DA Cy Vance says 70 arrests made across U.S. after old rape kits were examined


Vance's office committed $38 million in grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states across the U.S. starting in 2015 to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits. March 2, 2017 Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said Wednesday that efforts to eliminate national rape kit backlogs have led to 70 arrests in cold cases. Vance's offi...

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New guidelines for police department's evidence storage after theft


Drugs and cash missing from a police evidence room were taken by a police detective who has since passed away. March 2, 2017 UPPER DUBLIN, Pa. - Drugs and cash missing from a police evidence room were taken by a police detective who has since passed away. The Upper Dublin Police Department and Montgomery County District Attorney's office revealed T...

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Lawrence police officer placed on leave


Regardless, police policy requires officers to deposit items they seize into evidence lockers at headquarters. March 1, 2017 LAWRENCE -- An 18-year veteran of the police force has been put on paid leave while the department investigates an allegation that he seized a legally registered handgun during a traffic stop last month and took the weapon ho...

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County Sheriff’s K9 Officer Arrested, Accused of Taking Cocaine From Evidence Locke


A subsequent investigation alleges that Adams had diverted the cocaine to his own personal use. March 1, 2017 An Ocean County Sheriff's Department officer who legally obtained cocaine to train his canine partner began obtaining the substance illegally, authorities charged Wednesday. Lt. John C. Adams, 40, of Toms River, is facing charges of officia...

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Police Officer Accused of Lying About Evidence Quits His Job


The Chittenden County State's Attorney's office said Christopher Lopez made up a story about smelling marijuana on a suspect, perhaps to strengthen a case February 23, 2017 An alleged lie and a body camera recording cost a Burlington, Vermont, police officer his job. The Chittenden County State's Attorney's office said Christopher Lopez made up a s...

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Concord police destroy drugs from take-back initiative, old evidence


Descending from roughly 60 feet in the air, the claw didn't miss its intended target, which wasn't a cute fuzzy toy February 20, 2017 The hovering claw, like a giant version of those in arcade games, reached down toward its mark. Descending from roughly 60 feet in the air, the claw didn't miss its intended target, which wasn't a cute fuzzy toy. Abo...

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Former Center Twp. police officer accused of evidence room theft held for trial


According to an initial state police report,Stone opened sealed packages of evidence for ongoing criminal cases to steal money and drugs that had been confiscated by the department. Police said he would "sometimes reseal or repackage" the evidence to conceal his theft. February 10, 2017 BEAVER -- More than 150 charges were held for trial against a ...

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After scandal, Braintree's new police chief envisions new kind of evidence room


In the last year alone, officials in Mass have investigated allegations of evidence room misconduct in police departments in Westford, Adams, Lee, Springfield, Framingham and Braintree, according to a running list maintained by the International Association for Property And Evidence Inc., one of the few organizations that train police on evidence h...

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Ex-cop Alan Dubeshter indicted in Framingham Police evidence room theft


A former Framingham Police officer who was in charge of the department's evidence room is now facing criminal charges after authorities said he used his access to steal $20,000 from the department nearly a year and a half ago. Enter Article DATE HERE FRAMINGHAM - A former Framingham Police officer who was in charge of the department's evidence...

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Ex-cop Alan Dubeshter indicted in Framingham Police evidence room theft


A former Framingham Police officer who was in charge of the department's evidence room is now facing criminal charges after authorities said he used his access to steal $20,000 from the department nearly a year and a half ago. January 26, 2017 FRAMINGHAM - A former Framingham Police officer who was in charge of the department's evidence room is now...

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Explosion erupts in drug vault at D.C. police evidence storage facility


An explosion occurred Wednesday afternoon inside a drug vault at a D.C. police warehouse in Southwest Washington where evidence is stored, according to police and fire officials. January 25, 2017 An explosion occurred Wednesday afternoon inside a drug vault at a D.C. police warehouse in Southwest Washington where evidence is stored, according to po...

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Pot stench wafts from Police Dept. into City Hall


Police Lt. Mark Newport said the plants were so pungent, their skunky aroma wafted down the hall from the locked makeshift evidence room, up an elevator shaft and into the City Hall building. Some people complained the aroma made them feel ill, he said. January 25, 2017 PORTSMOUTH - A pungent pot odor permeated Portsmouth police headquarters, as we...

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Lawyer: Donora cop's heroin use is 'American tragedy'


Investigators wrote in court paperwork that he admitted to the crime and said he took the drugs for his personal use. January 12, 2017 James B. Johnson V's arrest exemplifies what his attorney says is a modern "American tragedy" — an injury leads to painkiller addiction which, in turn, leads to heroin use. "Local kid gets injured, gets hooked on op...

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Former Donora officer charged with stealing heroin from patrol room


State police: Suspect stole 133 heroin stamp bags for personal consumption January 11, 2017 DONORA – A former part-time Donora police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges he stole 133 stamp bags of heroin from the patrol room while he worked there in August. The state police organized crime task force arrested James Bowman Johnson V, 29, of 2202...

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Jailed panhandler linked to 1991 Pennsylvania murder


DNA evidence linked him to a 25-year-old homicide. December 30, 2016 MANKATO — A man awaiting trial on charges he threatened people while panhandling outside Mankato businesses is wanted for murder in Pennsylvania. Extradition papers were filed Thursday for Charles Cook, 61, after DNA evidence linked him to a 25-year-old homicide. Cook, who is home...

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Foust retiring as Johnstown police chief; on leave following officer's overdose


Earlier this year, Officer William Slisz, a police department veteran and Cambria County Drug Task Force member, allegedly overdosed in the Public Safety Building after reportedly getting drugs by using a hammer to smash into the evidence room. ​December 30, 2016 Craig Foust will retire as chief of the Johnstown Police Department effective Saturday...

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Foust retiring as Johnstown police chief; on leave following officer's overdose

At that time, it was revealed Chief Foust allegedly knew about a previous breach into the evidence room but did not take appropriate action December 30, 2016 Craig Foust will retire as chief of the Johnstown Police Department effective Saturday. The announcement was made during a regular City Council meeting on Thursday. Foust, who has been on paid...

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Johnstown Police Chief Retires

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Johnstown Police Chief Retires


An officer was accused of breaking into an evidence locker and overdosing on drugs. December 29, 2016 Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa Longtime Johnstown Police Chief Craig Foust is retiring effective December 31. Foust has been on paid administrative leave since October after an officer was accused of breaking into an evidence locker and overdosing o...

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Police Drug Lab Head Charged with Multiple Narcotics Offenses


The woman who heads the Anne Arundel County Police drug lab is accused of stealing dangerous drugs; federal authorities will investigate. December 21, 2016 MILLERSVILLE, MD — Potent and potentially addictive prescription narcotics, including Hydrocodone and Tramadol, were apparently taken by the manager of the Anne Arundel County Police Department ...

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Vigiard Sentenced To 10-12 Years In State Prison On Child Pornography Charges


He was arrested for downloading and viewing the video inside of the Adams Police Station evidence room. December 20, 2016 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Adams police officer will spend the next decade behind bars. Alan Vigiard pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to two counts of possession of child pornography and a single count of disseminati...

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Former New London police officer found dead in car


A former New London police officer, who resigned last year after an investigation into problems in the department's property room, was found dead   inside a vehicle in the commuter lot at Exit 24 on Interstate 395. December 13, 2016 Griswold — A former New London police officer, who resigned last year after an investigation...

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Inmates Stole Pills From Monmouth County Jail Property Room: Complaint


The two broke into the room using a jail ID card on multiple occasions, authorities said. December 12, 2016 FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ — A pair of Monmouth County jail inmates are facing drug and conspiracy charges after they stole prescription drugs from the bulk property room at the jail, according to a criminal complaint. A third inmate has been char...

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Town Of Westford Says Money Went Missing From Police Evidence Room


the town said the money was from closed criminal cases, and had been stored in the locked evidence room. Enter Article DATE HERE WESTFORD (CBS) — An investigation was opened over a year ago into the disappearance of an undisclosed amount of money from the Westford Police Department evidence room, the town of Westford said Thursday. In a statem...

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New law seeks to tackle years-old backlog of rape evidence


It also requires law enforcement agencies to submit every new evidence kit to a laboratory within 10 days and for it to be tested within 90 days. December 4, 2016 ALBANY — A bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week aims to unlock evidence needed to solve countless rapes that has been stored in "rape kits," sometimes for years. The new...

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I-Team: Evidence Missing


Prosecutors admit they did not give permission for the towing company to scrap the Saturn but argue that the car is not the only  evidence they will use against Scholl. Enter Article DATE HERE WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Questions about alleged missing evidence in a high profile attempted murder case. Lawyers for a Luzerne Co...

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I-Team: Evidence Missing


Prosecutors admit they did not give permission for the towing company to scrap the Saturn but argue that the car is not the only  evidence they will use against Scholl... 11-30-2016 WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Questions about alleged missing evidence in a high profile attempted murder case. Lawyers for a Luzerne County mother accu...

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DNA Match Yields Arrest in 2004 Killing of Teenage Girl Found Naked in Brooklyn Alleyway


Prosecutors say new DNA evidence has helped lead them to a suspect in the 2004 killing of a teenage girl found naked in a Brooklyn alleyway. November 19, 2016 Prosecutors say new DNA evidence has helped lead them to a suspect in the 2004 killing of a teenage girl found naked in a Brooklyn alleyway. Kwauhuru Govan, 38, was arraigned in Brooklyn Thur...

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I-Team: Police departments neglecting evidence room audits


Retired State Police Detective: "To be a new chief or a new evidence officer and not have an outside audit is foolish" November 17, 2016 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A retired Springfield police officer will stand trial in December for allegedly stealing nearly $400,000 from the police evidence room.  The 22News I-Team reveals if police departm...

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Braintree police evidence room to be moved following scandal


The Braintree Police evidence room will be relocated and additional safeguards installed, the town council was told Tuesday night. November 16, 2016 RAINTREE – The police department's evidence room will be moved to the former pistol range on the lower level of the police station, Mayor Joseph Sullivan told the town council Tuesday night. Interim Po...

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How often should police evidence lockups be audited?


A retired Springfield officer will stand trial next month for allegedly stealing nearly $400,000 from the police evidence room. November 14, 2016 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - When police make an arrest, often times they confiscate evidence to be used to support charges against a defendant in court.  Depending on the crime, that evidence could b...

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Police officer arrested after being accused of stealing drug-related evidence


Stone resigned last month after he was confronted over missing narcotics in the police department's evidence room. A state police investigation confirmed that heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, prescription drugs, and cash had been stolen from the evidence room. Stone was the primary evidence room custodian. November 10, 2016 Criminal charges have been fil...

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Framingham police discover ‘hide-a-key’ that permitted unrecorded access to evidence room


The Middlesex District Attorney's Office is notifying defendants that the Framingham police discovered a "hide-a-key" that permitted unrecorded access to their evidence room, according to statements from prosecutors and police. November 5, 2016 The Middlesex District Attorney's Office is notifying defendants that the Framingham police discovered a ...

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Former Berks sheriff's deputy charged with stealing from evidence locker


A former Berks County sheriff's deputy was charged Thursday with stealing money from an evidence locker he believed was property seized in a drug investigation by Harrisburg police, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. October 30, 2016 A former Berks County sheriff's deputy was charged Thursday with steal...

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Videotape shows Harrisburg vice cop stealing $1,000 from evidence locker: U.S. attorney

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Arrest made in woman's slaying 25 years ago in Indiana County


A cigarette butt left inside the vehicle led investigators to Cook but not until 2007 when DNA testing of the cigarette matched with Cook. Oct 21, 2016 District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said the suspect is 61-year-old Charles Cook from Magnolia, a tiny Minnesota town of roughly 200 people. VIDEO: Watch Ashlie Hardway's report Gunshots were fired ...

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Fired deputy pleads guilty to theft, gets a year of probation


A longtime York County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $700 in cash from the sheriff's evidence room. October 19, 2016 A longtime York County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $700 in cash from the sheriff's evidence room. Troy Senft, 59, of East Manchester Township, was fired in May and crimin...

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Massachusetts uses DNA test to predict a cold case killer's appearance


Capital Region District Attorneys weigh in on the new technology October 16, 2016 Massachusetts investigators moved forward on a 24-year-old cold case in late September after a Virginia lab used DNA evidence to predict the appearance of the woman's killer. As encouraging as that may sound — having a "face to this crime" in the words of that county ...

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Police Under Investigation After Cop Overdoses On Drugs Inside Station


At a City Council meeting Wednesday, resident John DeBartola asked Mayor Frank Janakovic what he planned to do about the apparent corruption within the police department. October 14, 2016 A Pennsylvania police department has come under review after one of its officers overdosed while on duty and now the local district attorney's office is calling t...

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Obama Just Signed a Bill of Rights for Sexual-Assault Survivors


Rape kits—more than 100,000 of them, as of 2014—have often languished for years in police warehouses and crime labs, going untested due to a lack of funds and, some argue, contempt for victims. October 7, 2016 President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that guarantees s...

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