Authorities say their investigation into a recent rash of fentanyl-laced cocaine overdoses and deaths in Lincoln has led to the arrest of two people, one of them a Nebraska State Patrol evidence technician accused of taking the drugs from an evidence locker.
Lincoln Police say Anna Idigima, a 14-year NSP employee, and George Weaver, Jr. were taken into custody Thursday, and prosecutors say the pair face charges including 1-B felony Conspiracy to Distribute 140 grams or more of Cocaine and Fentanyl, which carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
State Patrol Superintendent Col. John Bolduc said during a Friday morning news conference that evidence lockers go through regular and surprise audits, and the theft appears to have taken place during a short window after an audit was completed.
“We have a top-notch evidence storage system and facility, that’s constantly being audited and reviewed. However, there is no system that is 100 percent foolproof when it comes to the human element. We have an employee, a former employee, who was by all indications was a competent trusted employee for 14 years, until she wasn’t,” said Bolduc, who said all other staff at the agency feel deeply betrayed by what the investigation revealed.
Lincoln authorities say there were 35 overdoses and nine deaths in the community involving fentanyl-laced cocaine over approximately 30 days starting in late July
Officials say they’re still working on the investigation to determine the full scope of charges for Idigima and Weaver, who were said to be in a relationship, and whether others will be charged in connection with the case.