.By Joe Cardello The Essex Reporter
Former Colchester Police Detective Cpl. Tyler Kinney, who is facing drug and weapons charges, has been indicted by a Federal grand jury as the investigation into his alleged actions coursing over the last year advances.
On Nov. 17, Kinney was transported to the Serenity House in Wallingford to participate in a court mandated drug rehabilitation program. During his time there he tendered his resignation with the Colchester Police Department, which was accepted by Town Manager Dawn Francis on Dec. 5. Kinney was released from the Serenity House on Dec. 10.
The following day Kinney was formally indicted by a Federal grand jury on three counts. The indictment records show that he is accused of stealing at least $5,000 from or inside of the Colchester Police Department between July 2013 and Nov. 2014. He is also accused of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm to – Burlington resident and convicted felon Peter Burnett. The third count alleges that Kinney intentionally distributed a Schedule I narcotic – heroin.
The investigation of the Colchester Police Department’s evidence locker has yielded missing evidence, which means that ongoing cases have and will be dismissed. Stacie Johnson, the Supervising Attorney at the Chittenden County Public Defenders Office in Burlington, anticipated that some cases being handled by her office would be affected.
State Prosecutor TJ Donovan explained that he has not yet received an FBI report, but he would not be surprised if even more cases are affected. In total six cases have been dismissed in correlation with Kinney’s investigation.
“If there is missing evidence than the case is dismissed. There were five that had been dismissed and now there is a sixth today,” Donovan said Tuesday afternoon. “This definitely hurts our public safety, but it’s more important to maintain the integrity of the system and appropriate these dismissals.
“I’m hoping we have the [FBI] report before the New Year.”
State vs. Quan Hughes became the sixth case dismissed on Dec. 16 following Kinney’s arrest in November and succeeding investigation.
A WPTZ report on April 17 stated that Colchester Police arrested Hughes, 29, from the Bronx in New York City, in April with 400 bags of heroin and an undisclosed amount of cocaine on Pine Street in Burlington. His arrest was the product of a lengthy investigation and his sale of drugs to a police informant.
Hughes was facing four counts of Felony Sale of Cocaine; Felony Drugs to Minor-Sale Near School Property; Felony Heroin Trafficking; and Misdemeanor Cocaine Possession.
Hughes – along with the other defendants whose cases were dismissed – is essentially finished with the legal system due to missing evidence.
On Wednesday Kinney was set to appear in Burlington Federal Court at 1 p.m. in accordance with an arraignment by waiver.