Guilty plea in drug drop box thefts

Former police crime lab manager awaits sentencing

PASADENA, Md. - A simple fender bender near a home in Pasadena led to a disturbing discovery.
    
According to charging documents, 48-year old Annette Box immediately called for her 12-year old daughter to begin unloading plastic bags from the wrecked vehicle---bags filled with drugs from police drop off boxes throughout the county.

"We'd seen her a couple to times and she looked like she was on something, but it's just a shame because, like I said, she's a very nice person and ruined her life over drugs,” said a neighbor, Doub Kolomaznik, “It's rampant.  It's really sad."
    
As the manager of the police crime lab, Box had exclusive access to the drugs, which the public had discarded in the metal bins to keep from falling in the wrong hands.

"Miss Box was obviously placed in a position of trust,” said Lt. Ryan Frashure of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, “She was a supervisor and she would supervise the drugs going in and out of these boxes.  So she had the authority.  She had keys.  So a lot of the policies we had in place were there, but we had to keep in mind that she made some of those policies and she was in charge of making sure those policies were enforced."
    
Further investigation turned up evidence box had been pilfering pills from those drop offs for more than two years.
    
Now, the department has created some new policies to help insure such thefts never happen again.

"All of those boxes are now in clear view of cameras,” said Frashure, “So every time someone accesses those, it's caught on surveillance footage, and we've also made sure there's a buddy system so to speak, so now when drugs are taken out of that box that there's another supervisor that's there that has to sign to make sure that everything's accounted for when it's taken out of that box as well."
    
In exchange for Box's guilty plea on charges of theft, drug possession and misconduct in office, prosecutors have recommended she spend six months behind bars.
    
Just last month, investigators charged an 18-year veteran with the Aberdeen Police Department in connection with thefts from prescription drug boxes and the evidence room there.
    
 

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