Evidence accidentally destroyed at IMPD property room

Published: .
Updated: .

Metro police say several items of evidence were destroyed because of human error in the property room.

A civilian clerk in the IMPD Property Room burned a kilogram of cocaine confiscated in a drug bust. The clerk, a 24-year veteran, changed the cocaine and 148 other pieces of evidence from hold status to "dispose of" status. The disposal was part of the November periodic drug burn to make room for new, incoming evidence.

Sixty-eight separate pieces of evidence were accidentally destroyed in the disposal, 81 were recovered and placed back into evidence. Police say the items are part of 27 cases in Marion County. All of the pieces of evidence involved had already been weighed, tested and photographed.

Metro Police Lt. Chris Bailey tells Eyewitness News despite the mistake, no cases have been jeopardized and the case connected to the destroyed cocaine resulted in a conviction, since prosecutors were able to use photographs of the evidence at trial.

Police say the error occurred during a switchover to an electronic inventory system. The clerk is still working in the property room.

IMPD is working with prosecutors to ensure the remaining cases affected can proceed without problems related to the evidence handling.