SAN FRANCISCO—A recent inventory conducted in the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office has discovered evidence of missing and improperly stored drugs in the building.
The inventory of the Medical Examiner’s Office was ordered by the Controller’s Office following the arrest of Justin Volk, 40, in August. Volk was a previous medical examiner at San Francisco’s Medical Examiner’s Office. He was arrested in Utah after authorities discovered the bags of illegal drugs in his vehicle. He was suspended from his position, and the bags of illegal substances were then marked as “evidence”, and sent back into the possession of the department.
In a report released from a City Controller on October 22, the inventory found that two bags that previously stored what is described as “crystal” or “crystalline” drugs are missing. Another 10 bags were reported as “either missing or compromised, indicating that some or all of the drugs that were in these bags were removed or many have been removed,” according to the report document.
“The assessment found that virtually all (99.9 percent) of the drug evidence that was included in the log is present at OCME’s office and almost all of it is properly sealed in bags. However, of the 1,738 bags of drug evidence we tested, 2 are missing and 10 are unsealed,” a city controller wrote in the report.
The report claims that the department may have improperly stored or documented drugs, saying the “drug evidence log is not sufficiently accurate or detailed to properly account for all drug evidence. Without a full and accurate description of the contents of each evidence bag, OCME cannot determine that all the drugs that were received, bagged, and stored are still present days, months, or years later.”
In response to the incident, the controller made a series of recommendations for the Medical Examiner’s Office to avoid such mistakes in the future, some of which included making adjustments to policies and procedures.
However, the report does not mention Volk despite a plausible connection, and does not mention a cause or conclusion as to why the drugs went missing. The City Controller advised the Medical Examiner’s Office to investigate all instances of missing and unsealed drug evidence.