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Trinidad jail investigation discovers evidence tampering

Pending cases have been damaged

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — As investigators examine the situation at the Las Animas County jail involving the discovery of drugs in an inmate’s cell, they have discovered that evidence from the breached evidence locker has been tampered with, damaging a number of cases slated for prosecution by the district attorney’s office.

DA Henry Solano, noted in a conversation with the World Journal, that the amount of evidence tampered with and the number of cases affected were as yet unknown. However when the breach was discovered, the DA’s office began notifying defense attorneys for defendants slated for trial.

Even though there have been rumors of guns being taken from the evidence locker, those rumors are still unconfirmed and investigators aren’t releasing any further details of the incident.

Currently the investigation is focusing on the inmates who breached the evidence locker by accessing the overhead duct work. Criminal charges will be brought against those inmates involved.

According to Solano, there are no criminal investigations aimed at jail staff, the sheriff’s office, or Trinidad Police. However there may be procedural investigations aimed at the agencies which occupied the judicial center at the time of the incident.

The activities of the inmates came to a head in May when drugs were found in the cell of one detainee. When the breach was discovered, Sheriff James Casias called the DA, the CBI, and the Colorado Department of Corrections to make a sweep of the facility.

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