All 10 officers working in the Boston Police Department’s central drug warehouse have been transferred to other duties, because anticorruption investigators believe that evidence is being stolen, reports the Boston Globe. Police officials also said they are seeking help from State Police and confirmed for the first time that they believe that drugs have been stolen. The decision to transfer personnel — made by top department officials, including new Police Commissioner Edward Davis — was criticized by a police union official, who said it makes the staff appear guilty of theft.
One official said that many of the stolen drugs are OxyContin, a prescription painkiller. One source noticed that many of the missing drugs were involved in cases that had been dismissed, suggesting that the culprits may have targeted evidence bags they believed would be overlooked because they were no longer relevant to an active case and were destined to be destroyed. Drugs from about 190,000 cases, some dating back 20 years, are in a storage warehouse. A police statement issued yesterday said that “findings suggest that evidence tampering is not solely historical, but also current.”