A Sunrise police property and evidence technician has been accused of stealing hundreds of oxycodone pills and has been linked to the thefts through her DNA, authorities said.
Norma Currlin, 50, has been charged with six counts of theft of controlled substances. She was arrested Friday evening and posted a $6,000 bond Saturday, jail records show.
Currlin has been employed by the Sunrise Police Department for 22 years and served as an evidence technician since July 2006. She was a police dispatcher prior to that.
According to a police report, Currlin obtained narcotics maintained by the police department between March 2006 and May 2012.
Currlin had authorization to manage the pill count in the evidence tracking system and was the primary person responsible for the signing out of pills to detectives and for the logbook she created to track the movement of pills, the report said.
She was also one of two technicians with daily access to the police department’s “drug room,” authorities said. The other technician’s DNA was excluded from tampered items in the “drug room,” according to the police report.
During a random audit in May 2012, police discovered that seven stored oxycodone pills had disappeared from a package that would not be needed for any pending criminal case.
After the theft was discovered, police initiated a complete inventory of the narcotics room. It revealed missing pills that had been stored from two different community prescription drug drop-off operations, a narcotics seizure by the Drug Enforcement Administration, a batch slated to be destroyed and evidence for an armed robbery investigation.
Investigators say Currlin tried to cover her tracks by resealing packages. For a period, surveillance video showed Currlin entering the “drug room” early in the morning on a nearly daily basis, usually under 60 seconds, and sometimes before clocking in for work, the report said.
In sworn statements, Currlin “would begin to allude to a possible conspiracy theory in which someone could enter the Property and Evidence Drug Room completely undetected and somehow place her DNA on the items that had been tampered with,” the report said.
Currlin is on paid administrative leave, but a decision about her employment status will be made sometime next week, Sgt. Rodney Hailey said Saturday.
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