Massachusetts Police Audit Finds Thousands of Pieces of Evidence Missing - NECN


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Massachusetts Police Audit Finds Thousands of Pieces of Evidence Missing

Hundreds of court cases could be at risk in Braintree, Massachusetts



    Audit Finds Missing Evidence in Braintree Police Department

    A Massachusetts audit finds missing and mismanaged evidence inside the Braintree (Published Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016)

    Criminal cases in Braintree, Massachusetts, dating back years could be thrown out and convictions possibly overturned, following an investigation into thefts from the police department's evidence room.

    Braintree officials released the results of an audit on Wednesday about missing drugs, guns and money from the police department's evidence room dating all the way back to 1999.

    In the report, auditors found that 4,709 pieces of narcotics evidence was missing, more than 60 guns were unaccounted for, and more than $400,000 in cash seized from criminals was also missing.

    The report found that investigators are trying to figure out if much of the unaccounted evidence "should be attributed to the previous evidence officer, Susan Zopatti."

    necn learned that Zopatti committed suicide in May, shortly after the investigation into the evidence room began.

    Most of the missing guns have been accounted for, but 12 remain missing.

    It's unclear how many criminal cases could be impacted by the missing evidence but six drug cases have already been dismissed this week by Massachusetts prosecutors.

    Massachusetts has had a string of scandals involving tainted evidence. Thousands of drug cases were dismissed following the discovery in 2011 that former state chemist Annie Dookhan had tampered with drug samples and falsified test results.

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