Skip Navigation
iWatch
Print this page.
 
iWatch - You Inform Us, We Inform You.
  1. FBI Baltimore is now assisting BCoPD with the search for the suspect in Wednesda...

    FBI Baltimore is now assisting BCoPD with the search for the suspect in Wednesday's stabbing in Lansdowne and his girlfriend.

    http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/iWatch/FBIAssistsWithSearchForLansdowneStabbingSuspectGirlfriend


    FBI Assists With Search For Lansdowne Stabbing
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
    The FBI Baltimore Violent Crime Task Force is now assisting BCoPD with the search for a suspect in Wednesday's non-fatal stabbing in Lansdowne and his girlfriend.
    2014-08-29T23:45:13+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/846014682075331
  2. #BCoPD trying to ID man connected to investigation of June 16 Owings Mills armed...

    #BCoPD trying to ID man connected to investigation of June 16 Owings Mills armed robbery. http://ow.ly/ASnWA ^EA


    Armed Robbery in Owings Mills Under Investigation
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
    The Baltimore County Police Department's Franklin Precinct is trying to identify a man connected to an ongoing investigation into an armed robbery...
    2014-08-29T21:10:14+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/845956588747807
  3. Warrant obtained for suspect in yesterday's Bero Rd stabbing. http://ow.ly/AP9xw...

    Warrant obtained for suspect in yesterday's Bero Rd stabbing. http://ow.ly/AP9xw ^EA


    Police Search for Suspect, Woman Involved in Lansdowne Incident
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
    Police continue to search for the suspect in yesterday's stabbing incident on Bero Road in Lansdowne, as well as for a 24-year-old woman who...
    2014-08-28T16:52:09+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/845440852132714
  4. Officers are wearing mourning bands on their badges today in memory of Pfc Jason...

    Officers are wearing mourning bands on their badges today in memory of Pfc Jason Schneider. http://ow.ly/AKxrl


    2014-08-28T13:01:49+01:00https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/photos/a.597717780238357.1073741828.583947594948709/845367895473343/?type=1

View Facebook

Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: drugs

Photo of Nicholas Michael Ishmael, a BCoPD civilian employee charged with theft from evidence room. Baltimore County Police have arrested and charged a BCoPD civilian employee with stealing drugs and money from the BCoPD evidence room at the Public Safety Building in Towson.

Nicholas Michael Ishmael, 20, of the 7900 block of Westmoreland Avenue, 21234, was arrested yesterday at BCoPD headquarters and has been charged with 10 counts, including conspiracy to commit theft from $10,000 to $100,000; theft from $10,000 to $100,000; possession of narcotics; and possession with intent to distribute narcotics. Ishmael, a cadet, was released today from the Baltimore County Detention Center, where he had been held on $650,000 bail.

Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson said at a press briefing this afternoon that he ordered an audit of all 182,400 pieces of evidence in the evidence room as soon as he learned that the evidence room may have been compromised. He also ordered a review of all policies and procedures pertaining to the evidence room.

Over the past few weeks, officers – Executive Corps commanders, Internal Affairs officers, Criminal Investigation Division officers, Narcotics detectives and others – have spent thousands of hours, sometimes working around the clock, on the evidence room case.

At this point, Chief Johnson said, the investigation shows that the theft of items from the evidence room is the work of one individual – Nicholas Ishmael. Ishmael was served with termination papers today.

“This is a serious internal issue,” Chief Johnson said. “To say that I am deeply troubled by this serious breach is an understatement. Our citizens depend on this agency to solve crimes and make sure that criminals are successfully prosecuted, and I want them to know that we have devoted and will continue to devote all possible resources to investigating this situation.

Also, Chief Johnson said he is “disappointed that the conduct of one employee could reflect badly on this agency and the 2,500 BCoPD officers and civilians who work with integrity every single day.”

The Investigation and Audit

BCoPD became aware of a problem in its evidence room in early April, when a Homicide Unit detective tried to retrieve drug evidence for a case that was being tried in Circuit Court. When the drugs could not be found, the Chief’s office was notified, and Chief Johnson immediately ordered an internal investigation and comprehensive audit. The audit is supervised by Colonel Joseph Burris. The internal investigation remains ongoing.

The internal investigation led detectives to Ishmael. At that point, the Narcotics Section joined Internal Affairs in a weeks-long criminal investigation that included surveillance of the evidence room and of Ishmael and two family members. Two of Ishmael’s cousins also face drug charges.

The ongoing criminal investigation shows that Ishmael stole cocaine, morphine, Oxycodone and Alprazolam with a street value estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars. Detectives also found $40,000 in cash, stolen Tuesday and in Ishmael’s possession when he was arrested. The evidence was stolen from 15 narcotics cases, including one homicide case. (The homicide is the November 25, 2012 shooting of Alsawab Sawab in Towson.)

There may be additional charges against Ishmael.

Police do not believe that other cadets or officers were involved with Ishmael in the thefts, nor is there any indication of any technological or procedural failures in the evidence room. “We are confident that responsibility for this breach rests with one civilian employee,” Chief Johnson said.

BCoPD’s exhaustive audit began shortly after the first theft was discovered and has involved thousands of hours of investigation. Just in the past 24 hours, officers have examined 8,000 cases. All but four of those cases – which involve $450 in cash unaccounted for – have been reconciled. There is no evidence at this time that Ishmael is involved in those cases, but the investigation continues.

An additional 19,000 cases still must be audited.

About BCoPD Evidence Management

The Evidence Management Unit is responsible for the safekeeping, proper storage, records management and disposal of all property and evidence delivered to the Unit.

Staffing of the unit includes a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, three officers and three cadets.

The evidence on hand includes 182,400 items, including 21,700 pieces of drug evidence, 4,500 guns and 2,750 money cases. All evidence is tracked through an electronic bar code system, a system that was instrumental in helping detectives link Ishmael to the thefts.

A quality control team conducts random, unannounced sampling audits. In addition, evidence room supervisors conduct unannounced monthly audits throughout the year. Based on the fact that these audits did not reveal any problems, as well as the fact that hundreds of cases are pulled each week for court use or disposal, police do not believe that Ishmael’s stealing began in August, when he was assigned to the evidence room.

About the Cadet Program

Cadets are civilian employees, ages 18 to 21. They often (but not always) use the position as a path toward a career in policing. Chief Johnson began his career as a cadet.

BCoPD currently employs about 40 cadets, assigned to entry-level tasks throughout the agency. They are subject to the same background checks as sworn officers, as well initial and random drug testing and a polygraph and a psychological examination. Ishmael’s background check was “uneventful,” Chief Johnson said.

Cadets have been employed in the evidence room for decades. Chief Johnson said this is the first case involving a cadet stealing evidence from the BCoPD evidence room.

Cadets assigned to the evidence room are responsible for retrieving evidence from what essentially is a large warehouse for officers and detectives when they need it; the cadets also return evidence to its proper place in the evidence room when detectives and officers return it.

Nonetheless, Chief Johnson said that all evidence room procedures, policies and equipment will be closely reviewed as a result of the Ishmael case.

On Saturday, April 26, the Baltimore County Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will collect potentially dangerous prescription/medication drugs from area residents. The DEA National Take Back Initiative is an effort by law enforcement to get unused, and in some cases, dangerous prescription drugs out of the house and disposed of in a safe and secure manner.

The following precincts have been designated as drop off locations.

  • Precinct 2/Woodlawn, 6424 Windsor Mill Road, Woodlawn 21207
  • Precinct 7/Cockeysville, 111 Wight Avenue, Cockeysville 21030
  • Precinct 12/North Point, 1747 Merritt Boulevard, Baltimore 21222

Photo of prescription drop off box at Baltimore County police precinct.Baltimore County police officers and DEA agents will be at the sites from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The public should use this opportunity to discard potentially dangerous prescription medications. Those dropping off a controlled and/or non-controlled substance will not be asked questions about the drop-off, nor will they be asked for identification.

Residents should drop off medications in the original packaging, or remove them and place the drugs into the disposal box. Liquid medications should be tightly sealed and in the original containers. Remove any identifying information on the prescription label. Over-the-counter drugs will also be accepted.

Illicit drugs or syringes will not be accepted, as these items can pose a health hazard to those collecting the drugs.

Permanent Drug Drop Boxes at All Baltimore County Precincts

Baltimore County now has drug drop boxes at all 10 police precincts. Residents can anonymously and safely dispose of unwanted and expired drugs and medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at these locations:

  • Precinct 1 Wilkens - 901 Walker Avenue, 21228
  • Precinct 2 Woodlawn - 6424 Windsor Mill Road, 21207
  • Precinct 3 Franklin - 606 Nicodemus Road, 21136
  • Precinct 4 Pikesville - 215 Milford Mill Road, 21208
  • Precinct 6 Towson - 115 W. Susquehanna Avenue, 21204
  • Precinct 7 Cockeysville - 111 Wight Avenue, 21030
  • Precinct 8 Parkville - 8532 Old Harford Road, 21234
  • Precinct 9 White Marsh - 8220 Perry Hall Boulevard, 21236
  • Precinct 11 Essex - 216 North Marlyn Ave., 21221
  • Precinct 12 North Point - 1747 Merritt Boulevard, 21222

Liquid, tablet and capsule forms of medication should be disposed of in the drug drop boxes. All medical waste (needles, lancets, syringes, and razor blades) should be securely enclosed in a metal or plastic container and thrown in the regular trash. These items should not be placed in the drug drop boxes.

For more information, visit the Baltimore County Health Department website: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/healthservices/substanceabuse/drugdropbox.html

Was This Page Helpful?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*