Destroyed evidence may keep man with drug charges out of jail


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A Volusia County man charged in a drug trafficking case that involved two kilos of cocaine on I-95 may not have to face any charges, WFTV found out.

Kenold Antione's attorney told WFTV his client may not be charged because the state destroyed the evidence.

Authorities said the incident happened during a traffic stop on I-95 in 1993. There were two men in the car and Antione was driving authorities said.

According to court records, Volusia County deputies found more than two kilos of cocaine in the car.

Both men took off while investigators were looking at the evidence, officers said.

"The other individual went to trial and was convicted of this crime back in the mid-90s," said defense attorney James Crock.

Crock said Antione never went to trial, and stayed off the radar until May of this year when he was arrested in another case.

Now, after nearly 20 years, he's back behind bars awaiting trial on the cocaine trafficking case.

But since Antione has been in jail, all of the cocaine, video of the traffic stop and evidence photos have been destroyed.

"They've destroyed every last piece of evidence in this case," Crock.

Crock said the State Attorney's Office dropped the ball.

As part of routine evidence clearing, the clerk of courts notified the State Attorney's Office it planned to destroy evidence in Antione's co-defendant's case, and in other old cases.

The State Attorney's Office didn't raise a red flag, and it was incinerated on July 25.

Now, Crock said with no evidence, there's no case, especially since he can no longer have his own experts examine the evidence.

"Now, they take the position, 'Well, we know he's guilty, trust us. Trust us. We don't need evidence,'" said Crock.

The State Attorney's Office has not released a comment.

In a hearing next month, Crock hopes the lack of evidence will lead to the charges being dropped.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said it is a well-founded argument since the defense can no longer challenge the evidence.