FBI Agent Stole Seized Drugs; Case Dismissed for 28

Please don't click the headline; the Washington Post uses some kind of phantom zone technology that will bring you to their RSS feed; please click the continued link below, instead. Thank you, the management...

Junkie Fed's addiction screwed up cases.

While we focus on organized crime (and are working on multiple stories right now), this story caught our attention today... One has to wonder how often this kind of thing happens, for personal use or not, without the agent getting caught....

The Washington Post reports that FBI agent Matthew Lowry checked out Item 1B4 from the evidence room at the bureau’s Washington field office on an August morning in 2013."

On the log sheet, he scribbled “to lab” in order "to explain why he was taking drugs that had been seized in an undercover operation dubbed Midnight Hustle."

About a year later, he finally delivered the package of heroin to the lab. The item's weight had changed. It was 1.1 grams heavier.

"For 10 months, court records show, the heroin had gone unaccounted for and unmissed."

It is now tainted evidence and the agent who did the tainting "by his own admission, repeatedly stole heroin from evidence bags for his personal use."

The result is that prosecutors have dismissed charges against 28 defendants in three cases; many of those 28 had already been convicted. And that's not the end: up to 150 other defendants may get an opportunity to return to court to get a free pass.

"The revelations have exposed a system of weak checks and balances that allowed Lowry’s thefts and drug use to go undetected for at least 14 months as he worked on a task force focusing on heroin traffickers along the borders of the District, Maryland and Virginia. The problems were discovered only after the agent disappeared after work Sept. 29 and was found by colleagues incoherent, standing next to his disabled bureau car in a construction lot near the Washington Navy Yard."