Port St. Lucie police evidence technicians arrested, accused of improperly disposing of guns, razors

Port St. Lucie police evidence technicians arrested, accused of improperly disposing of guns, razors

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Three evidence technicians with the Port St. Lucie Police Department are under arrest, accused of improperly disposing of evidence like weapons and razors.

According to a police investigation, 43-year-old Thomas LaBelle, Jr., 55-year-old Vernal Taylor, and 58-year-old Jeffrey Hunter either took the evidence for their own personal use, or tried to sell it.

The evidence included pellet guns, magazines for firearms, razors, tools, sporting equipment, electric toothbrushes, and other household items.

Police said all of the items were from closed cases, and the evidence should've either been destroyed or returned to its owners.

LaBelle and Taylor are facing charges of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud, while Hunter is facing charges of grand theft.

They were booked into the St. Lucie County Jail on Thursday, and are on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department will hold a news conference about the arrests on Friday at 10 a.m.

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