Audit: Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office missing money, guns

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — About $145,000, guns and drugs were missing from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office property and evidence storage and more could be missing, according to an audit.

Sheriff Jeff Easter said Friday an investigation began in January when an employee noticed the storage area was in disarray. A property and evidence technician and a supervisor who were the focus of the investigation no longer work for the department, he said.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said cases have been dismissed because of the missing evidence, most of which was supposed to be destroyed. He said about 30 cases have been dismissed and investigators are reviewing about 40 more. Most of the dismissals are low-level drug cases.

He said the dismissed cases could be reinstated but authorities didn't want to keep someone in custody or risk putting them in custody until a complete inventory is taken and prosecutors feel they can make the case in court.

Easter said ongoing audits will account for more than 50,000 items in the Sheriff’s Office possession, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The department does have procedures for ensuring items aren't stolen but Easter said the supervisor was not stopped by other supervision and "he took full advantage of being the supervisor and had tried to cover his tracks of stealing our property.”