KAILUA-KONA — A since-retired Hawaii Police Department sworn employee could face criminal charges after police discovered missing drug evidence last fall.
The Hawaii Police Department said Thursday it had referred on March 2 its criminal investigation, which included consultation and collaboration with the Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, to prosecutors for review. The department, in a media release, said its investigation identified a sworn employee as a person of interest.
Police said they will not comment on the matter as it has been turned over to prosecutors.
In October 2017, police said the department’s 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 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, police said.
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, police said.
The investigations from which the evidence came from had been suspended as those cases had no suspects, police said.
The identified employee has since retired and is no longer employed by the county, police said. The department has tightened up procedures in order to ensure a similar scenario cannot be repeated.
The department said it has also conducted additional audits to ensure these incidents have not also been perpetrated by anyone else.