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What happens to drugs after they are seized by police?

(WBNG) — Drug seizures in Broome County are not uncommon.

“Drug seizures have been common since I’ve been on patrol back in 2001. I think now it’s getting more attention because people are overdosing and victims are actually passing away from overdoses because of heroin and
fentanyl,” said Detective John Harder with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

When drugs are found at a scene, they’re photographed as is, then collected as evidence and sealed for storage. If the Broome County Sheriff’s office is investigating, the drugs are brought to its evidence room and locked away.

“Specifically drugs, firearms, they require a second degree level of security, so we have to have a facility that’s caged in and can only be accessible by a person with a key,” said Detective Harder.

The drugs can be locked away for years, as a case or trial is ongoing.

Harder says the direction in which the district attorney’s office takes the case, dictates what is done with the evidence.

“We have to let the judicial system run its course. Defendants, after they are found guilty, they have the right to appeal, so we have to make sure we hold the evidence long enough to exhaust those appeals before we destroy it,” said Detective Harder.

Those drugs are then destroyed directly on the Binghamton University campus.

“I transport the narcotics to the incinerator myself, BU staff is there, they open up the door to the incinerator and we drop them in, and as soon as we release them they are instantly incinerated. No other hands touch them,” said Detective Harder.

Detective John Harder says burns at the campus incinerator are typically held for local law enforcement twice a year.

Annie Flaherty

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