Del Norte County CHP Office Break-in Compromised 127 Cases
The break-in occurred back in June and “jeopardized the integrity of police evidence” stored at the CHP office.
Del Norte District Attorney Dale Trigg emailed county defense attorneys last week saying that 127 unidentified cases may have been affected. Beyond that, “They’re keeping me totally out of the loop,” he said.
One CHP officer has been subject to an investigation regarding the break-in, Trigg did not disclose the officer’s identity in order to avoid compromising the CHP’s investigation into the matter.
The Del Norte Triplicate reported that according to Trigg’s letter, CHP informed the DA’s Office that all evidence in CHP possession at their Crescent City office at the time of the break-in will be “unavailable indefinitely.”
With upcoming trials depending on this evidence some attorneys like Mike Riese see a silver lining.
“Let’s say hypothetically — not knowing who the officer is — that I find out that this officer in question said he found and seized certain evidence in an upcoming trial,” Riese said. “Now that evidence isn’t available to me as a defense attorney to examine it independently or to have my expert look at it. I’d file a motion to dismiss. They’d have to produce the evidence.”
For those in custody, defendants might have to wait in jail indefinitely while the CHP carries out the investigation, though Trigg said he’s “not aware of anyone in custody that could be affected by this.”
The full story can be found through the Del Norte Triplicate here.