FHP break-in triggers statewide check

FHP break-in triggers statewide check
Posted by FoM on December 08, 1998 at 07:50:27 PT
 Evidence tampering should throw cases out I think
Florida Highway Patrol commanders throughout the state are doing emergency inspections of their drug evidence storage rooms to ensure that they are more secure than the one at a Central Florida FHP station.
FHP and Department of Corrections officials said Monday that a minimum-security prison inmate, working building and lawn maintenance at the Cocoa FHP station last week, climbed into the sub-ceiling above the weight room, pried out an air-conditioning duct above the evidence room and sneaked out the door with a pound of pot and 1.2 pounds of cocaine.Robert Holt, 21, of Polk County, and fellow inmate, Gregory Boswell, 19, of Leon County, then buried most of the cocaine and marijuana behind the station, said FHP Lt. Chuck Williams.About three-tenths of a pound of cocaine and a quarter pound of marijuana made it into the 288-inmate Brevard Correctional Institution Work Center, said Danny Wilkins, assistant superintendent of the institution.The theft happened Nov. 30. That night, Boswell was taken to a Brevard County hospital suffering an apparent drug overdose, said Debbie Buchanan, Department of Correction spokeswoman.When Boswell became ill, Wilkins said, corrections officers searched the institution looking for the remainder of the drugs. None was found.Boswell and Holt, both serving time on robbery charges, have been shipped to other institutions, pending the outcome of investigations, Wilkins said.The FHP didn't discover the incident until the next morning when a sergeant noticed muddy boot prints and what appeared to be marijuana seeds on a bathroom floor. A quick investigation found the evidence room door still unlocked. A call to the prison linked the overdose to the missing drugs.Williams said the drugs came from two old cases, and neither theft is likely to harm the prosecution.``We're looking at every aspect,'' Williams said. ``We're looking at where we put it, how we store it. If it is broke, we'll fix it.''There are 39 such FHP evidence rooms being inspected. FHP officials said late Monday that the six in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are secure.Breaking into a jail is really gutsy! It sure doesn't seem that they watch their evidence very closely!
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