Nebraska Drug Deaths Traced To State Patrol Evidence Locker

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An investigation into a spate of drug overdose deaths in the Lincoln area was traced back to fentanyl-laced cocaine stolen from a Nebraska State Patrol evidence locker, leading to two arrests, authorities announced Friday.

Lincoln police and the patrol revealed at a news conference the arrest of Anna Idigima, 35, and George Weaver Jr., 36, both of Lincoln, on suspicion of distributing illicit drugs.

Idigima was a Nebraska State Patrol employee who worked in the evidence unit when the drugs were stolen from an evidence storage facility, police said. She had worked for the patrol for more than a decade when she was fired Aug. 27 after a police audit showed the cocaine missing from a patrol evidence locker.

Fentanyl-laced cocaine led to 35 overdoses in the Lincoln area between July 25 and Aug. 19, police said. Nine of those people died and an unborn child of a woman who overdosed died.

It’s unclear how many of those overdoses are linked directly to the cocaine alleged to have been stolen from the evidence locker, but court filings link the stolen drugs to at least one death, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Police said in a news release that Idigima and Weaver are romantically linked and lived together. Weaver owned and operated GrannyWeavs Soul Food and Catering in Lincoln, a business he started after a stint in prison, the Journal Star reported.