CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) –A detective with the Clovis Police Department is charged with embezzlement. The criminal complaint states money from a case he was in went missing, and where investigators found it led straight to the detective.
The investigation started in December when the Curry County District Attorney’s Office was looking for evidence — a meth pipe — in a case handled by the Clovis Police Department and Detective Francisco Hernandez.
They could not find the pipe, and the police department then received another complaint about missing money in separate case involving Hernandez.
“Somebody that lost evidence or any of the above needs to be looked into,” said John Willet, a Clovis resident.
The criminal complaint states an officer went looking for the money and found crumpled up bills in one of Detective Hernandez’s drawers. He started his lapel camera, flattened out the money and took video of the bills.
The Clovis Police Department wanted to compare the money in Hernandez’s desk to the missing bills from the case. Officers compared pictures of the money taken off the suspect. It was crumpled like the ones found in Hernandez’s desk.
The money on the lapel video and the evidence pictures also had the same serial numbers. When Internal Affairs went to retrieve the cash from Hernandez’s desk, it was gone.
The total cash missing was $166. Detective Hernandez was charged with embezzlement and tampering with evidence.
“It’s like anything. You got 100 apples, there’s going to be a bad apple somewhere,” said Willett.
Many residents did not wish to go on camera, but are glad the department is policing itself. They are worried what could could happen to Hernandez’s other cases.
“His other cases as well are in jeopardy,” said Willett.
Clovis Police say Hernandez resigned from the department on Friday after charges were filed.