Where’s the Missing Money in Mahanoy City?

WNEP Newswatch 16, wnep.com
BYLINE: Dave Bohman, Newswatch 16

Mahanoy City, PA

MAHANOY CITY — Newswatch 16 has learned that money is missing from the police department in Mahanoy City, money seized in a drug case.

Just days ago, the police chief suddenly retired. A special meeting was called for Wednesday.

Borough council members are considering a plan that would have another police agency manage the evidence room at the Mahanoy City Police Department after what may have happened to cash seized as evidence at a drug bust.

Mahanoy City’s Police Chief James Kaczmarczyk retired suddenly and unexpectedly last week.

The former chief and a senior officer failed a recent polygraph test. They were being questioned about money seized from a bath salts dealer two years ago.

Some in the borough question the integrity of their police department.

“Right now, hearing this, law enforcement can’t be trusted, in my opinion,” said Amanda Loftus.

“There’s no trust there. None at all,” added Michael Loftus.

Schuylkill County District Attorney Christine Holman says the police department cannot account for $10,000 of money taken from Daniel Bynon III in May of 2014.

Bynon pleaded guilty last year to possessing bath salts.

The $10,000 seized should have been paid to the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force.

Holman asked Mahanoy City Police about where the money went.

“There were several different stories as to where the money went, what happened to it. And finally, it was decided the state police should be notified,” said Holman.

The D.A. is concerned a review might show more cases of missing drug money in Mahanoy City, and she says it could potentially force her to drop charges against dealers.

From the back alleys of this struggling old coal community to the main streets, Mahanoy City has seen its share of drugs, and it’s seen plenty of drug arrests.

“It seems like they were getting them left and right, but it seems, you know, there are a lot of drugs in this town for a small town,” said Michael Loftus.

“Bath salts are here in town. I’ve heard heroin, meth labs, marijuana. It’s terrible,” said Amanda Loftus.

People are concerned because the Mahanoy City Police Department is now down to three officers and the officer in charge is being investigated over the missing money seized after the arrest of a bath salts dealer.

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International Association for Property and Evidence
“Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement”

April 27, 2016

Posted In: Pennsylvania

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Missing evidence found in sheriff’s locker could free inmate in 1990 SD murder case

Capital Journal, capjournal.com
BYLINE: Associated Press

McCook County, SD

SIOUX FALLS — McCook County Sheriff Mark Norris says an envelope found in an evidence locker is related to the case of a South Dakota inmate trying to prove his innocence in a 1990 murder.

The Argus Leader reports that 10 years ago the Innocence Project of Minnesota began researching Stacy Larson’s second-degree murder case and concluded he could not have fired the shot that killed Ronald Hilgenberg in 1990.

Larson has spent the past 25 years serving life in prison.

The Project’s effort to exonerate Larson came to halt after it concluded the evidence was lost or destroyed.

But recently, Norris says he was cleaning an evidence locker when he found the packet. He says he was “dumbfounded” by the discovery.

Larson’s lawyer, Jason Rumpca, and McCook County’s state’s attorney have been notified of the evidence.

The envelope contains swabs taken from Larson’s car after his arrest, said Julie Jonas, legal director for the Innocence Project of Minnesota. The swabs could reveal if gun powder was in the car; if a test shows no gun powder, it would cast doubt on the prosecutors’ argument that Larson fired a shotgun at Hilgenberg on Interstate 90 near Montrose in 1990.

“It’s not going to prove who did it, but it would prove that it wasn’t me,” Larson told the Argus Leader in a phone interview Monday.

Of course, even a negative test wouldn’t prove Larson was innocent, but it could raise doubt about his guilt that wasn’t available at his trial.

Sheriff Norris said the recently found envelope contains materials returned to the his department in 2012 by the state Division of Criminal Investigation. Norris said it had not been tested by either prosecutors or the defense during Larson’s trial.

State Attorney General Marty Jackley said he would comment later Monday on the news.

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International Association for Property and Evidence
“Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement”

April 18, 2016

Posted In: South Dakota

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Former sheriff’s deputy accused of pawning guns from evidence locker

WFAA-TV, wfaa.com
BYLINE: Brett Shipp, WFAA

Ellis County, TX

Sources say Lt. Phillip Slaughter abruptly resigned late last month. What followed shocked his co-workers.

2016-04-18_deputy pawning guns from evidence locker_01
Phillip Slaughter (Photo: Courtesy – Ellis County Sheriff’s Department)

A former Ellis County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday, accused of pawning guns allegedly stolen from the sheriff’s evidence locker.

Sources tell News 8 co-workers were shocked at the news that Lt. Phillip Slaughter suddenly resigned late last month after 15 years with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.

According to an arrest affidavit, a few days later, department officials made a discovery. They learned that some weapons involved in other criminal cases were missing from the sheriff’s evidence room.

Last Thursday, Ennis police officers found the guns at a local pawn shop. Police allegedly found Slaughter’s name on a pawn receipt.

The sheriff called in the Texas Rangers and after a swift investigation, they recovered two Colt revolvers and one Taurus pistol at the pawn shop and arrested Slaughter, who was in once charge of the sheriff’s property room.

Slaughter is charged with a total of six felony counts: the theft of three guns, one count of record tampering, and two counts of evidence tampering.

Slaughter is in jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

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International Association for Property and Evidence
“Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement”

April 18, 2016

Posted In: Texas

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