BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An investigation into the Bella Vista Fire Department for missing narcotics found there’s not enough evidence to charge someone for taking them and the department said it’s made changes to make sure it never happens again.
Bella Vista Police Department performed the investigation. The documents described around $500 worth of ketamine, a dissociative drug that can be used for humans and animals, was found missing from the fire department back in March.
After a lengthy investigation more than 100 pages long, police and prosecutors were not able to determine who might have taken the drugs.
Benton County prosecuting attorney, Nathan Smith, said there were just too many people that had access to the narcotics at the same time to be able to narrow the suspects down.
“Multiple people had access at the same time. There is some evidence that people shared passwords back and forth between each other so for all those reasons there is just not enough evidence to go on in the case,” Smith said.
After discovering the missing drugs, the Bella Vista Fire Department implemented changes to how narcotics are stored. Some of the changes include:
- Installed surveillance cameras where narcotics are kept
- Limiting the number of people who can access narcotics
- Changing process of replacing narcotics
- Upgrading tamper-proof boxes
- New safes in which to store drugs
In a statement from Bella Vista Fire Chief Steve Simms on the incident, he said, “it is unfortunate that during the investigation unrelated information was discovered about one of our employees, who has since been terminated from our department.”
According to Bella Vista Police’s report, during a search of that employee’s phone in the narcotics investigation, police found nude pictures of the employee’s child on their phone. Due to the nature of the photos, the police investigated the photos further.
Smith said after a complete investigation of the pictures, it was found there was not enough evidence to charge that employee with possession of child pornography.
“There wasn’t enough evidence there to say that it was child pornography as opposed to being an image that somebody might keep on their phone of their child,” Smith said.