An internal audit has revealed a large number of narcotics cases were not consistently sent from the Colorado Springs Police Department to the El Paso County District Attorney's Office.
The cases come from the Metro Vice, Narcotics and and Intelligence Division, a regional drug task force consisting of CSPD, the El Paso and Teller county sheriff's offices, the Fountain Police Department and the Woodland Park Police Department.
Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney, Jeremy Loew suspects the lack of transparency shown by CSPD on some of these cases may have affected the outcomes for many defendants.
"If officers wrote statements or took witness interviews and that wasn't turned over; I don't see how it could not have affected cases," Loew said.
In a release issued Wednesday night, CSPD said it found "discrepancies" last week in MVNI's case filing procedure.
The filing process is commonly known as "discovery" in cases where a defendant faces criminal charges.
Loew feels the effects incomplete police reports during the discovery process on potentially thousands of cases over the last four years cannot be overstated.
"So discovery are the police reports. So what the Colorado Springs Police Department is essentially saying is they didn't send the police reports to the district attorney's office. And if the district attorney's office doesn't have the police reports, that means the defense doesn't get the police reports," Loew said.
According to a release, the case filing process is now changed to prevent future discrepancies, and the information not provided the the district attorney's office is mostly administrative in nature.
However, to fully investigate the problem, CSPD and the DA's Office are reviewing all MVNI cases from 2013 through last week when the problem was discovered.
On Friday, CSPD said it and the DA's Office also will review 164,000 cases from all units to make certain there are no other issues.