Property and Evidence
Personnel in Property and Evidence are responsible for the storage, record keeping, and disposition of all property and evidence submitted to them by the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office, as well as the contract agencies of, Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, Madison Lake, Mapleton, and the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force.
The Property and Evidence division provides safe storage for all items seized by Deputies/Officers. Our property room currently stores over 5,000 items of evidence, found property, and property held for "safe keeping."
Civilian Evidence Officers are responsible for the preservation, destruction, and release of all items placed in their care. The evidence specialists are trained in storage techniques to ensure that the integrity of evidence is maintained. Detailed records of transactions involving items of evidence are maintained in order to preserve the "chain of evidence." The "chain of evidence" is the documentation of the continuous custody of items submitted as evidence.
The Property and Evidence Specialist is responsible for receiving, cataloging, storing, and maintaining all evidence collected during an investigation. Evidence may include:
- Blood samples
- Found property
- Items collected as part of an investigation
- Personal property
The primary function is to retain evidence for the prosecution of criminal court cases. We are also responsible for the proper intake, control, storage, release, and/or disposal of all property confiscated, appropriated, seized, or otherwise taken into custody by the Blue Earth County sheriff's office and contracted agencies. This property may include recovered stolen, abandoned, and found property as well as property received for safekeeping.
The property and evidence specialist is also responsible for returning property according to Minnesota state statute.
The Property and Evidence Specialist is only responsible for property / evidence collected by the sheriff's office and our contracted agencies. If your property was collected or seized by another law enforcement agency within Blue Earth County, you will need to contact that agency directly for the disposition of your property.
The evidence specialists do not always have sole authority to release property taken as evidence and may need prior authorization from the:
- Case officers
- Prosecuting Attorneys’ Office
- Department supervisors
- Property Release Regulations
Evidence and property that is no longer needed for court proceedings may be released to the owner, if known. The evidence technician will send a letter stating the property can be picked up to the owner's last known address. The following regulations are followed in the property release process:
Evidence and property used in the commission of a crime, such as controlled substances, related instruments, or contraband that is unlawfully used or possessed, will be destroyed.
Property is released by appointment only and will not be released to the owner without photo identification (driver's license, state ID card, passport, etc.). You may also be asked to supply proof of ownership.
Property Not Returned to Owner is Auctioned Online
Some property stored in our evidence facility can never be returned to its owner. This property was found or recovered with no owner identification and ultimately will be destroyed or auctioned.