Missing Drug Evidence on Hawai‘i Island
An employee from the Hawaiʻi Island Police Department has since retired after being placed on administrative leave following an investigation into missing drug evidence.
Hawaiʻi Island police launched both criminal and administrative investigations after it was discovered that cocaine recovered as evidence in 2014, was found to be lighter than reported during its initial recovery.
The finding was made in October of 2017 when the evidence was being weighed in preparation to utilize a small quantity of the cocaine for training purposes. Department officials say the investigation quickly identified a sworn employee as being a person of interest for the missing portions of the drug.
The employee was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay and subsequent audits of other evidence recovered by the officer in two separate investigations revealed weight discrepancies in marijuana concentrate or “Hashish.” Police say the investigations from which the evidence came from had been suspended as those cases had no suspects.
Since the findings, officials report that the department has 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.
The criminal investigation which included consultation and collaboration with the Hawaiʻi County Prosecuting Attorney’s office was formally handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office for their review on March 2, 2018.