BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone County is dropping criminal charges in about 40 cases and is no longer pursuing about a dozen others due to the theft of drug evidence from the Billings police evidence locker.

The Billings Gazette reports county attorney Scott Twito on Thursday confirmed the effect of the theft of prescription narcotics from 138 cases. The evidence technician involved has been fired.

At the state crime lab in Missoula, officials are notifying county attorneys around the state about the theft of drug evidence submitted for analysis.

Forensic Science Division administrator Scott Larson says the lab is determining the extent of the theft and if it compromises any cases. Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst tells the Missoulian that police are investigating and she expects charges will be filed against the employee, whose name has not been released.


Information from: The Billings Gazette,