Where’s the Missing Money in Mahanoy City?

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

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”
www.IAPE.org

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”
www.IAPE.org

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”
www.IAPE.org

April 18, 2016

Posted In: Texas

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