In the basement of the Lewiston Police Department, a long hallway leads to a door marked “Authorized Personnel Only.”
“Our conversations are being recorded, both audio and video,” warned Lt. Mark Cornelio as he led the way to the police department’s evidence room.
As soon as Property and Evidence Manager Ivan Boudreau unlocked the door, the powerful smell of marijuana wafted into the hallway.
“All of the confiscated drugs and money are locked up there,” said Boudreau pointing to a cage-like back area.
Hanging from the walls were weapons of all types. There were brass knuckles, butterfly knives, swords, a homemade mace, and a variety of weapons that appeared to be hand guns.
They were not.
“These are all b.b. guns,” said Boudreau. “I keep them around so when I have tours from the high school I can impress upon them how dangerous it is to carry this stuff. A police officer won’t know it’s real in that spilt second he or she has to decide to use deadly force or not.”
Lining two walkways in the room, were neatly numbered shelves containing anything from cigarettes, clothes, a hammer and car stereos to laptops, DVDs and the occasional bottle of liquor.
After the police recover or confiscate the property, maybe from a burglary, an assault, or a minor offense, they log it into the computer system, label it and place it in a specific spot on the shelves with corresponding locator information.
And the evidence area is purged monthly, after cases are closed and the police get the okay from the courts to either return stolen property or dispose of evidence.
Since the first of the year, $250,000 in street-value drugs have been incinerated in Auburn as the police watched.
They also take the guns to a foundary in Auburn where they are disposed of that — also in the presence of the police.
“Every item has a story,” said Boudreau, as he opened a cabinet where the actual guns are stored.
Boudreau takes his job very seriously.
“Everyone must sign the log,” he said.
“We’re responsible for people’s stolen property and we want to make sure it gets back to them,” added Cornelio.