In October 2017, both Hawai`i Police Department criminal and administrative investigations were initiated after it was discovered that cocaine recovered as evidence in 2014, was found to be lighter than reported during its initial recovery.
The information was released by HPD on Thursday morning.
HPD officials say that the discrepancy was discovered when the evidence was being weighed in preparation to utilize a small quantity of the cocaine for training purposes. 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 revealed other anomalies which revealed cases whereby there was a weight discrepancy in marijuana concentrate, (Hashish), from two separate investigations,” HPD wrote in a release. “The investigations from which the evidence came from had been suspended as those cases had no suspects.”
The identified employee has reportedly since retired and is no longer employed by the County.
HPD says 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 Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorney’s office was formally referred to the Prosecutor’s Office for their review on March 2, 2018 and the investigation has been turned over to the Prosecutor’s Office.