Mice Blamed For 1,000 Pounds Of Missing Marijuana

By Paul Fuhr 04/17/18

A former police commissioner and seven others were fired after claiming rodents were responsible for a half-ton of missing pot.

three mice on a white background

When over 1,000 pounds of marijuana went missing from a police warehouse in Argentina, some police officers said there was only one possible suspect: mice.

According to The Guardian, eight officers argued that mice had eaten the half-ton of weed, which had been sitting in storage for more than two years in a warehouse.

The missing cannabis was noticed during an inspection of the impound warehouse, where over 13,000 pounds (a record for Argentinian law enforcement) had been stored.

Of the half-ton of weed that was registered, only about 12,000 pounds remained. The drugs had been impounded in the town of Pilar, about 40 miles outside of Buenos Aires.

Pilar’s police commissioner, Emilio Portero, noticed the shortage and immediately reported it to his force’s internal affairs division.

After the missing marijuana was reported, it didn’t take the internal affairs department long to have a suspect: Javier Specia, Pilar’s former police commissioner.

As The Guardian reported, the inventory for the impounded weed had been left unsigned by Specia when he stepped down as commissioner in April 2017.

Judge Adrián González Charvay questioned Specia and three other officers about the weed shortfall, to which everyone had the same explanation for the missing narcotics: they had been eaten by mice.

Judge Charvay, however, was not convinced. Forensics experts explained that mice would never consume marijuana in the first place—and even if they did, it’d be easy to tell if they were the culprits.

“Buenos Aires University experts have explained that mice wouldn’t mistake the drug for food, and that if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse,” a spokesperson for Judge Charvay said.

Specia and seven other officers were fired after giving the unlikely explanation, while the judge is calling them back to testify on May 4.

At that time, the judge will determine whether the narcotics are missing due to “expedience or negligence.” In addition, Specia now faces an internal investigation into why he hasn’t yet provided an income statement for 2017.

Aside from the mice excuse, the Pilar situation isn’t unique. Thanks to corrupt officials across the globe, impounded drugs regularly go missing from evidence rooms.

In fact, since the beginning of this year, nearly a dozen similar cases have made headlines.

In Billings, Montana, an evidence tech was fired for reportedly stealing prescription opioids from evidence storage. An audit revealed the missing drugs, which affected nearly 140 separate cases.

After heroin, morphine and oxycodone went missing from a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania evidence room, a police officer was soon charged with “criminal trespass, forgery, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance and… theft by unlawful taking,” FOX43 reported.

Even the Hawaii County Police Department is currently investigating a missing-drugs problem, the Associated Press reported, with a former detective suspected of stealing cocaine from evidence.

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Paul Fuhr lives in Columbus, Ohio with his family and two cats, Vesper and Dr. No. He's written for AfterParty MagazineThe Literary Review and The Live Oak Review, among others. He's also the host of "Drop the Needle," a podcast about music and addiction recovery. More at paulfuhr.com. You can also find Paul on Linkedin and Twitter.