Suit filed demanding release of evidence in SPD missing pills case

Suit filed demanding release of evidence in SPD missing pills case

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A lawsuit has been filed against the Caddo District Attorney's office over the denial of requests for documents related to the disappearance of more than 14,000 stolen prescription pills from the SPD evidence room 3 years ago.

The suit was filed by Shreveport Police Officers' Association President Michael Carter on October 29 and names interim Caddo DA Dale Cox as a defendant.

The pills, which had been confiscated in a late 2011 drug bust, were confirmed to be missing after a tip led to an audit of the evidence room in May 2012.

That led to an internal investigation, with assistance from the FBI.

According to the suit, "the matter was reported on the local news media, and according to those reports, criminal, and administrative investigations were launched to determine the perpetrator of the crime and the causes of the disturbing security breach."

The findings of the internal investigation were handed over to the District Attorney's office, where the late Charles Scott was in charge at the time. 
Since that time, no one has been reprimanded or arrested and no prosecution has been initiated relating to the theft of the pills, which had an estimated street value of more than $110,000.

The pills were never recovered.

The suit claims some of the information requested from the District Attorney's office requested over the months and years since the incident under the Freedom of Information Act has been denied without explanation.

While some documents have been provided to the Carter and the police association as recently as August 5, 2015, the suit alleges the District Attorney in August 2015 "refused to produce crime scene diagrams and photos, investigative reports, recorded interviews and transcripts thereof, District Attorney investigator reports of witness interviews and work product, asserting that they pertain to a case in which criminal litigation is still reasonably anticipated."

However, as is also noted in the suit, "Some of the potential charges that might have been brought are now prescribed, and thus no longer be prosecuted due to time limitations on the commencement of prosecution."

"These records requested are clearly public records and the defendant arbitrarily refused to provide same and failed to provide adequate justification for his failure to produce these records as required by law."

Essentially, the statute of limitations on some of the charges that could have been brought in connection to the case has run out.

In his petition, Carter says he and the police association "are unaware of any ongoing investigation and do not believe that criminal litigation is reasonably anticipated."

The suit asks for an order to compel the District Attorney to produce all of the records requested or show cause why they should not.

The first hearing in the suit was set for November, but is expected to be postponed due to a scheduling conflict for the DA.

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