(Left photo) Above (L-R), Sgt. Jim Fogata, Sgt. Troyce Reynolds, Detective Dan Kiernan, and Lt. Carlos Juarez load drugs and other items into a police vehicle. (Right) Just some of the 486 pounds of illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine, methampahetamine, marijuana, pills, barbiturates, psychedelic mushrooms and more that was headed for Long Beach for incineration.

Santa Paula Police Department takes accumulated drugs to incinerator

March 21, 2008
Santa Paula Police Department
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesTalk about a stash: the Santa Paula Police Department transported an accumulation of drugs seized since 1990 to an incinerator in Long Beach, 486 pounds of illegal substances as well as related paraphernalia. The drugs were transported on Tuesday, March 18, according to SPPD Chief Steve MacKinnon.“As a result of us doing an evidence audit we transported today over 2,000 items, drugs primarily and some paraphernalia,” including bongs and hypodermic needles, but, he noted, the “vast majority was actual drugs.” The hefty stash was transported in the SPPD Command Post Vehicle, followed by a second police vehicle for “extra security.”MacKinnon said that the cargo included “pretty much any kind of drug you can think of: heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, pills, barbiturates, psychedelic mushrooms.” The drugs had been kept in a secured area of the Evidence Room, but moving them required more than heavy lifting.“It was an extensive effort,” said MacKinnon. “For every case we had to get a court order for the destruction, had to sign” to request court permission to move and destroy what had once been evidence, a process that took “extensive records management action to pull that off.”Some of the drugs and paraphernalia were held back: “We did pull some drugs out of there that were given to our K-9 teams and others in the area for training purposes for the dogs.” Drug paraphernalia that received a reprieve from the incinerator will be used by SPPD officers also for training purposes “when officers do education for the community,” to show what is used to ingest drugs.
MacKinnon said that the only cost associated with the purge is the officers’ time. “We don’t get billed for the incinerator; it’s a big one somewhere down in Long Beach,” located near the docks.Why now? “There hadn’t been any protocol from the past, and we’re completely redoing the Evidence Room,” an effort that has been in process for almost a year.As a result, the SPPD now has hundreds of other items that can be discarded - such as more than 100 bicycles that were never claimed by their owners - but they won’t be auctioned off. “It will be more like a yard sale,” which MacKinnon said will be held April 12 in conjunction with a SPPD Open House, so “mark your calendar.”

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