A young member of the Baltimore police force has been accused of making off with a significant amount of drugs from an evidence vault at the headquarters of the department. The 20-year-old cadet is accused of taking substances that were to be used as evidence in at least 15 cases. The alleged drug offenses included the theft and sale of cocaine, oxycodone, morphine and a variety of other drugs, all valued at at least $125,000. The defendant is accused of selling the drugs to his relatives.
The defendant has been officially charged with theft and drug offenses. He was being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center on a $650,000 bond, according to authorities. The man does not have an adult criminal record.
Authorities say officers stopped the man as he was leaving work for the day. Detectives found tens of thousands of dollars in the man’s vehicle, along with prescription medication and bags with white powdery substances. Other paraphernalia was also reportedly found at the man’s home, where he lived with his mother.
An investigation into the matter was initiated when evidence managers found that drugs were missing from one specific case. An additional inquiry determined that several other cases were also affected by the theft. Although prosecutors do not believe that the theft will have an impact on the outcome of any of the cases, defense attorneys say that it is more difficult to try drug cases without the drugs themselves. Instead, circumstantial evidence will be used.
It is important to remember that an arrest for drug charges does not mean that the defendant is automatically considered guilty. All criminal defendants have rights in court, even if they are accused of drug offenses. This case may seem fairly straightforward, but there are a variety of legal strategies that may put the defendant in a more advantageous legal situation.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore Co. police cadet charged with evidence vault drug theft,” June 25, 2014.