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Officials Investigate Possible Mishandling Of Evidence At Purcell Police Department

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The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into possible problems with the evidence room at the City of Purcell Police Department.

During a violation of protective order investigation, McClain County Sheriff’s Department detectives found guns, knives and other items at an individual’s home that were missing from the Purcell Police Department’s evidence room, according to Sheriff Don Hewett.

“We discovered that there were some items there [at the home] that technically should not have been there,” Hewett said.

Hewett said he reported the potential discrepancies to OSBI and requested an investigation. The bureau served a search warrant for the Purcell department Wednesday.

“We’ve spent the last part of this week over there looking through items,” said Jessica Brown, a spokeswoman for OSBI. Brown said the process is ongoing and could take several weeks. She would not comment on the investigation's progress or findings thus far.

When the investigation is complete, OSBI will deliver a report to the district attorney, who will decide whether to bring criminal charges against members of the department.

Sheriff Hewett said he cannot recall any other instances of evidence room issues at the Purcell Police Department.

The Purcell Police Department declined to comment.

Claire has previously worked at KGOU, where she helped create a podcast, How Curious, and hosted local news during Morning Edition. Previously, she was an intern on the city desk at WBEZ in Chicago. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School. Claire has reported on street performers, temp workers, criminal court cases, police dogs, Christmas tree recycling and more.
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