Drugs found in the car of an employee at the NASA Glenn Research Center

Drugs found in the car of an employee at the NASA Glenn Research Center

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - How was an employee at the NASA Glenn Research Center allowed to simply go to work after security found marijuana and suspected heroin in his car?

It's a troubling question because security is always tight and you don't get inside the facility easily with the exception of open houses or educational programs.

There is a good reason for the security, the research center has played significant roles in many of the nation's space accomplishments.

These days the focus is on the Orion spacecraft, the next generation of exploration, aimed at taking us back to the moon and beyond.

If you need any confirmation of how seriously they take security, the place was locked up tighter than a drum in 2010 when an emergency drill at another NASA facility triggered a scare here.

It shows they take everything seriously and no one doubted the precautions despite there being no real threat at the research center in Cleveland.

That is why a document obtained by Cleveland 19 is so troubling.

It details what was found in a backpack during a random search of employee's vehicle entering the building on Nov. 14, in the center pocket of the backpack was a plastic bag containing a green leaf substance and a small container with a brown waxy substance.

The green leaf substance was determined to be marijuana.

There are indications that the other substance was heroin, but further testing will be needed to prove that.

It is what happened next that is hard to imagine.

The shocking part is that the report says the suspect "would not be taken into custody by any agency due to jurisdictional issues."  He "was released and allowed to enter Glenn for work."

There is no indication if the employee was tested to see if he had drugs in his system. It appears not.

The parking area where he was searched is actually in Cleveland.

Cleveland Police Department spokesman Reginald Lanton said in an email that there is "no indication that we were there but my research capabilities are limited."

A spokeswoman with the NASA Glenn Research Center declined to comment on the incident.

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