ROBINSON, Texas (FOX 44) — A drug arrest is not uncommon to police, but what happens to those drugs after they’re seized?
When an arrest is made that involves drugs, the officers take them back to the police department where they get packaged, labeled and submitted to evidence.
“There is a process for this stuff,” Robinson Police Chief Rich Andreucci said. “I don’t think most people know kind of what happens after an arrest is made.”
Some have to be sent to the Department of Public Safety crime lab to be tested, that way police know they are charging the suspect correctly.
“The last thing that we want to do is charge with possession of a controlled substance like meth, and then find out that what we arrested for wasn’t really meth,” Andreucci said.
Once the case makes its way through the criminal justice system and reaches its final disposition, the evidence technicians at the police department write up a letter of destruction to give to a judge along with other paperwork.
That’s where the drug terminator comes in.
The burn is smokeless with no environmental impact because it burns cleanly due to the high temperature and filters.
“The filters catch any particles coming out so that there’s no risk of anybody that’s on scene getting exposed to meth or heroin or THC,” Andreucci said.
Also, they don’t always know what people are mixing the drugs with or cutting them with.
“There could be other chemicals in there that we don’t know about,” Andreucci said. “So we want to make sure that those filters are on top of it, catch any type of bad stuff so that none of our officers that are near or evidence techs get hurt.”
After it’s all burned, it turns to ash that is no longer harmful or dangerous.
“It’s designed to get super hot so that even if we put syringes in there, it totally melts them,” Andreucci said. “And then when we’re done, there’s just basically powder in the bottom of the barrel.”