The Delaware State Police and the Attorney General's Office are investigating a case of alleged evidence tampering involving the drug testing lab at the office of the state Chief Medical Examiner.
The Delaware State Police Criminal Investigative Unit, along with the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, initiated a joint investigation over the course of the last month after the discovery of drug evidence submitted for analysis to the Controlled Substances Lab within the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was found to be compromised.
The compromises included drug evidence that was tampered with, is missing and/or substituted, said division spokesman Sgt. Paul G. Shavack, and were discovered after the evidence had been returned to submitting police agencies.
Shavack said the Delaware State Police and Department of Justice initiated the investigation, including internal audits of police evidence lockers, which detected discrepancies among several Delaware law enforcement agencies that existed between drug evidence submitted to the OCME Controlled Substances Lab and evidence returned to police evidence lockers in sealed envelopes after analysis and testing.
Dover Police Department spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman said Friday his agency had just been notified of the alleged tampering.
“It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the matter until more is known and if it affects us at all,” Hoffman said.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is fully cooperating in the investigation and all drug evidence has been secured, Shavack said. Based on the nature of the ongoing investigation, the Controlled Substances Lab has discontinued drug analysis; however, all other functions of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner remain uninterrupted and fully functional.
No further information will be released at this time as to not jeopardize any of these efforts by discussing the investigative details, Shavack said.