Winnemucca Police Department Detective Matt Morgan

Back in June, Detective Matt Morgan of the Winnemucca Police Department was found unresponsive inside the police department’s evidence vault. According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, no evidence of foul play or suicide was found. At the time, Morgan’s death was reported as one of “apparent natural causes.”

Literally within a matter of hours, the police and other officials in Winnemucca set about planning memorial events to honor their hometown hero. Various police departments throughout Northern Nevada joined in on official praise for the 25-year veteran, who had unexpectedly and mysteriously passed away. However, the fact that they managed to schedule a funeral procession and parade in tribute to Det. Morgan the very next day after his death almost made it seem like they wanted to hurry it along before some less than honorable details about it surfaced.

Someone with a skeptical mind might even question why they seemingly dragged their feet on starting an investigation into exactly what those “apparent natural causes” that Morgan succumbed to that day were. First they had to contact the local national guard unit to have the evidence room analyzed, in order to ensure there were no chemical or biological threats within the vault. As a result, “further investigation into Morgan’s activities within the vault were placed on hold” for about two weeks, until any workplace safety issues were ruled out.

Of course, what they didn’t mentioned during those early tributes to their late hero was that the deputies conducting the initial investigation after he was found had recovered a bag containing a white powder concealed on Morgan’s body. Not surprisingly, once they got around to searching the inventory within the evidence vault, they also discovered that some of that inventory had gone missing. These sort of coincidences are the type of thing that might normally tip a trained police detective off to the possibility that someone’s death wasn’t an apparent result of “natural causes.” Another odd little quirk of fate was the fact that it was (somehow) “unclear if there were video cameras within the vault.”

Winnemucca Police Department Detective Matthew Morgan
Detective Matt Morgan receives a commendation on his 25th anniversary as a Winnemucca police officer

Not long after, the proverbial other shoe inevitably dropped and it was announced by Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen (video below) that toxicology tests had revealed Detective Morgan had lethal levels of fentanyl in his system, along with meth. ***SPOILER ALERT*** In what’s not exactly a plot twist, it was also announced that fentanyl was the previously unidentified white substance found in the baggy on Morgan’s body. Similarly, in a less than surprising ending, an audit of the vault had (eventually) determined the inventory that had been “tampered with” also consisted of the substances discovered within Morgan’s system when he apparently died of natural causes.

Detective Matthew Morgan wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill Hero Cop, either. He crusaded hard against those dangerous drug addicts everyone always hears so much about. He was a member of the Tri-County Narcotics Task Force working tirelessly on drug-related investigations and locking up people doing the same stuff as him. In fact, as the website he set up for his (failed) justice of the peace bid makes clear, he was very dedicated to ensuring children walked the straight and narrow. Not only was he a member District Court Judge Montero’s Drug and Truancy Court teams and the Truancy Advisory Board, but he also worked with younger children by teaching the D.A.R.E. program for seven years at local elementary schools and Winnemucca Junior High School.

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