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Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 01/24/2013

Quantico police audit finds missing cash, drugs, guns; officers resign

The town of Quantico’s acting police chief and its sole other full-time police officer resigned Tuesday after an inquiry found that the department had missing drugs, cash and handguns.

A recently completed audit of the department’s records turned up mismanagement and potential criminal activity: $1,080 in cash was missing, along with an unknown quantity of marijuana and four department handguns, according to the audit and an e-mail from Quantico Mayor Kevin P. Brown.

The audit says that a deeper investigation could reveal further problems.

All but one of the handguns has been located, Brown said. He said the town has asked the Virginia State Police to investigate and assess what criminal charges, if any, are necessary.

Acting Police Chief Howard Castle and Officer Daryl Robinson resigned Tuesday, according to Town Council meeting minutes. Castle and Robinson could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the state’s investigation continues.

Brown, who is in his first term as mayor of the town of 500 in eastern Prince William County, said he has been raising questions about the police department for years. “Many of the old clichés about small-town politics are absolutely true,” Brown said. “A number of residents have been concerned about the way this place has been run for a very long time. I don’t blame it all on the police department. The elected officials didn’t do their due diligence.”

The town sits just outside the U.S. Marine Corps base, and Brown said a well-managed police department is vital.

The audit also showed that the department wasn’t properly keeping track of evidence and cash used to pay informants. Police also did not properly log service calls or maintain internal records, among other issues, the audit found.

Quantico officials hired Scott Roy, a law enforcement officer from Culpeper, to conduct the inquiry.

No property or evidence had been seized since 2010, according to the audit. Asked why, Castle responded that Quantico was “kinda like a Mayberry town,” the audit said.

News of the audit was first published by InsideNova.com.

The town has also ordered polygraph tests for its department, which includes four certified volunteer officers. Those officers are continuing their normal rotations, Brown said.

Brown said he could not discuss the polygraph tests or whether the town’s two resigned officers had completed the tests.

Town officials hope to advertise for a new police chief soon. In the meantime, the town plans to hire off-duty Prince William officers to fill the department’s needs. County police are also available to respond to routine calls if needed, Brown said.

By  |  03:39 PM ET, 01/24/2013

 
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