Missouri police chief charged with stealing drug evidence

Missouri

John Washburn (Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – The Iron Mountain Lake chief of police is facing numerous charges in St. Francois County tied to stolen drug evidence.

According to charging documents, John Washburn was involved in a police pursuit on the evening of September 10. The chase went from Farmington into Doe Run. During the pursuit, Washburn activated the police lights and siren on his vehicle displayed a gun at the person he was chasing.

Washburn did not have the authority to do any of this in the county and was out of his jurisdiction. A St. Francois County sheriff’s deputy who responded to the scene filed a report on the incident.

In that report, the deputy said they observed the police chief ingest what was believed to be methamphetamine.

After reviewing a separate report regarding missing drug evidence in a pending case, investigators searched Iron Mountain Lake Police Department’s evidence locker, where they determined Washburn had taken the drugs.

On September 22, the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Washburn with one count of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, two counts of stealing a controlled substance, one count of stealing, and one count of false impersonation of a law enforcement officer.

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