Rookie police chief ‘overdosed on drugs taken from [his own] evidence room’
James Hughes Jr, 35, had been police chief of Kirkersville, Ohio for only months when he was found on his bathroom floor in May
He died of an overdose of a drugs cocktail shortly after his wife discovered him
Police discovered three syringes in his home. Two tested positive for the opiate
Officers also found packages of heroin and LSD, and more fentanyl in the house
The packaging of the drugs suggested Hughes had stolen all from the evidence room at his station
Autopsy report on Hughes states that the local police chief died of an accidental fentanyl overdose
Police chief James Hughes Jr [photo], died of an opiate overdose in May. An investigation into his death suggests the Kirkersville, Ohio chief lawman may have been stealing fentanyl and other drugs from the station’s evidence room
The 35-year-old police chief who died of a drug overdose is believed to have stolen fentanyl from the station’s evidence room.
James Hughes Jr, 35, was found on the floor of his bathroom by his wife in May and was pronounced dead soon after.
According to Reynoldsburg Police Dept, Lt. Ron Wright said they found an opened package of fentanyl and closed packages of heroin, fentanyl and LSD in his home.
Hughes died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, according to an autopsy report.
Officers also seized three syringes; one with fentanyl inside, one which tested positive for the opiate, and one which was empty, as well as a sandwich bag which tested positive for cocaine.
The autopsy report on Hughes state that the local police chief died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
All of the packages were from the department. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is working to determine the exact amounts involved.
Hughes, who had been chief for only two months, is believed to have acted alone in his theft.
Wright told NBC along with the opened evidence package, closed packages of heroin, more fentanyl, and LSD were also found inside his Reynoldsburg home.
The father of three became police chief less than a week after his predecessor quit. Hughes earned $14 an hour working 20 hours a week – but the village had recently decided to increase his hours to 32 per week.
After his investigation is complete, the Lieutenant intends to pass the case on to the state Attorney General’s Office.
‘It’s kind of gone beyond our level. You’re talking about another agency’s property room,’ he said. ‘We think the state should probably intervene.’
In the first three months of 2018, 111 people died from an overdose in Franklin County, the coroner’s office said. Fentanyl was involved in 67.5 per cent of those deaths.
When the investigation into Hughes’ death is complete, Reynoldsburg Police Department Lieutenant Ron Wright says he will call the state Attorney General about practices at Hughes’ station in Kirkersville