An investigation regarding missing evidence led to the recent arrest of a former police chief. Some of the missing evidence cited in the investigation included firearms and narcotics, the latter of which were originally intended for the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory. The 35-year-old man is facing 88 separate felony counts, including:
- Destruction of evidence
- Illegally obtaining controlled substances
- Obstruction of justice
- Opium trafficking
Years of alleged theft
The former police chief was originally named as an interim police chief in April 2018, but was later assigned a permanent position as chief in July 2018. His arrest warrants indicate that the alleged thefts started shortly after taking up the post permanently. According to the documents, items disappeared from the evidence locker for a period of several years, from Aug. 2018 to March 2021.
On March 5, 2021, he was placed on administrative leave for issues related to the evidence locker. Specifically, the District Attorney notified the town manager that the police station that the former police chief oversaw had stopped sending narcotics to the state crime lab for testing. During the ensuing investigation, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation managed to recover some of the firearms that had been taken. The former chief had sold many of those firearms to acquaintances, friends and family members.
Facing even a single felony charge can significantly alter the course of someone’s future. Facing dozens of felony counts is much more serious and requires a careful, deliberate approach to criminal defense planning. While this might feel overwhelming at first, a good place to start is with a thorough review of all charges and related evidence.