Here We Go Again? The Braintree Police Evidence Room Scandal
WGBH - 09/21/2016
Last week, an independent audit of the Braintree Police Department’s evidence room confirmed that large quantities of drugs, weapons, and cash had gone missing over a period of years. After being confronted with questions about the missing items last May, the officer in charge of maintaining the room—Susan Zopatti—committed suicide.
This is not the first scandal in the Commonwealth involving improprieties in a police department evidence room. Former Brockton Police Chief Richard Sproules stole cocaine and money from his department’s evidence room in the late 1980s. More recently, scandals surfaced at two state crime labs. News broke in 2012 that Annie Dookhan, a forensic analyst at the crime lab in Jamaica Plain, had repeatedly mishandled drug samples and fabricated test results. In 2014, another forensic analyst—Sonja Farak—admitted to tampering with evidence, stealing drugs, and using a range of narcotics during an eight-year stint in the Amherst crime lab.