NewsCrime and Courts


Former Billings evidence technician accused of stealing drugs related to 130+ cases

Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:33:42-04

BILLINGS – The evidence technician fired by the Billings Police Department for stealing drug evidence in February has been charged.

Rawlyn Strizich, 38, was charged Tuesday in Yellowstone County Justice Court with tampering with public records or information after she admitted stealing close to 1,000 pills collected as evidence in over 130 cases.

Justice of the Peace David Carter allowed Strizich to be released on her own recognizance, under the order she have no contact with anyone in the Billings Police Department.

According to charging documents, Strizich was hired as an evidence technician for the Billings police n Sept 2016. In Jan 2018, she contacted her supervisor at the evidence facility and admitted to stealing pills from the drug cage located inside the building.

She reportedly told her supervisor that she began stealing the pills in July 2017 and was taking them for her personal use.

Charging documents state that Strizich would use the computer system to look up different drugs, like OxyContin or Hydrocodone, to find which cases involved those drugs. She told her supervisor that she was aware of the surveillance cameras within the facility at the time, but she did not care if she got caught.

Strizich allegedly said she was taking 10 to 20 pills a day, and believed it would kill her.

All evidence technicians who worked at the facility at the time were questioned during the investigation, but none of them observed Strizich taking drugs from the facility.

Surveillance video did show Strizich quickly shoving something into her pocket while inside the drug evidence cage on multiple occasions.

Billings police began an investigation and did an audit of all drugs within the department’s evidence facility. After several weeks, they were able to determine that drug evidence was missing in about 130 cases.

It was during the investigation into this case that department officials learned she had sex with three Billings police officers on city property or while they were on duty.

One officer, Paul LaMantia, resigned and identified himself before a judge would require his identity released. The two other officers, Matt Edwards and Clint Anglin, received suspensions and remain on the force.

-Samantha Harrelson reporting for MTN