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Utah Co. evidence technician accused of removing prescription meds

Posted at 11:48 AM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 13:48:11-04

PROVO, Utah — A Lehi man has resigned from his position as a forensic technician amid allegations that he illegally removed prescription drugs from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office evidence facility in February.

Charges against Brian William Smith, 38, are expected to be filed in the next few days after an internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and a criminal investigation by the Spanish Fork Police Department.

According to a news release from UCSO, another employee with the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Unit discovered some drugs were missing from a drug disposal barrel and notified the Evidence Supervisor.

“After viewing surveillance video these employees learned that the drugs were taken by another employee, a Forensic Technician,” the news release said.

Smith resigned from his position with the forensic unit six days later, on February 28.

An audit of the evidence facility turned up 17 cases in which Smith accessed evidence scheduled for destruction without following proper procedures, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Evidence in all seventeen cases included prescription medications.  Following the audit twelve cases with missing evidence were identified.  Evidence in all twelve cases included prescription medications,” the news release said.

A full audit of the 34,000 pieces of evidence in UCSO’s evidence facility showed everything is accounted for, with the exception of the 12 cases of missing evidence and one case in 2013 in which evidence was inadvertently destroyed, according to UCSO. The audit also revealed several clerical errors, which the news release said were unrelated to the criminal investigation and have been corrected.

“The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has evaluated its evidence processing procedures and taken actions to mitigate the risk of this kind of thing happening again.  Those actions include installing additional surveillance cameras to provide broader coverage in the Utah County Sheriff’s Office evidence facility,” the news release said.