Missing evidence prompts probe

May 10, 2008 3:33:04 PM PDT
The disappearance of cash and drugs from the Galveston police property room has prompted the dismissal of 16 cases and a Texas Rangers audit of 2,100 other cases. Local officers began a criminal investigation after about $18,000 in cash and an undisclosed amount of cocaine, hydrocodone and Ecstasy disappeared from the room last month.

A civilian employee was fired, but no one's been charged with any crime. City officials have declined to identify the fired employee. City Manager Steve LeBlanc says charges likely won't be filed until the state's investigation is complete.

Starting later this month, 10 Rangers will spend about four weeks going through the evidence. They will work out of recreational vehicles parked outside police headquarters.

LeBlanc says more local cases could be dismissed because of compromised evidence.

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