0

Clayton Police destroy millions in seized drugs

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

After securing court orders allowing the destruction of assorted drugs that had been seized earlier, the Clayton County Police Department recently conducted supervised burns of illicit drugs with a street value of approximately $12 million, according to a police spokesperson.

The burns took place at undisclosed locations amid high security, Lt. Tina Daniel said in a written statement.

The burns included more than 9,500 pounds of seized marijuana and other assorted narcotics, Daniel said in the statement.

"This was accomplished with the cooperation of the Clayton County District Attorney's Office, Clayton Fire and Emergency Services, and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office," said Daniel.

The narcotics were being housed in the Clayton County Police narcotics evidence room, according to Daniel.

All of the drugs were seized from illegal drug transactions that were adjudicated through the Clayton County Judicial Circuit, she said.

"This is just a small part of the police department's aggressive efforts to fight illegal drug use and sales in Clayton County," said Clayton County Interim Police Chief Tim Robinson, in a written statement.

The supervised narcotics burns come after the Clayton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) stated, in an internal audit of the Police Department, that the department's narcotics evidence room had a backlog of drugs waiting to be destroyed.

The audit, which included several allegations of mismanagement by then-Police Chief Jeff Turner, was cited in the BOC's Dec. 28 decision to reassign Turner to lead the county's police academy.

On Jan. 5, Turner was placed on unpaid leave, pending an administrative investigation into new allegations that he improperly used police surveillance equipment.

Turner said the accusations are the result of personal attacks, and has taken steps to appeal the board's actions.