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Missing cocaine leads Big Isle police to department employee

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    Cocaine, acquired as evidence in 2014, was found to be lighter in October 2017, prompting both criminal and administrative investigations at the Hawaii County Police Department.

The Hawaii Police Department said it has placed an employee on administrative leave without pay after discovering that cocaine recovered as evidence was lighter than reported during its initial recovery.

The cocaine, acquired as evidence in 2014, was found to be lighter in October 2017, prompting both criminal and administrative investigations. The discrepancy was discovered when the evidence was being weighed in preparation for training.

Investigators quickly identified a sworn employee, who had retired and is no longer employed by Hawaii County, as a person of interest for the missing portions of the drug. Subsequent audits of other evidence recovered by the officer revealed other anomalies, including cases of weight discrepancies in hashish, or marijuana concentrate, from two separate investigations.

The Hawaii Police Department said it has tightened up procedures in order to ensure a similar scenario will not recur and has also conducted additional audits to ensure these incidents were not perpetrated by anyone else. The case was formally referred to the prosecutor’s office on March 2.

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