Published: Sep 30, 2010 11:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 30, 2010 6:57 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Officers incinerated 1,500 pounds of drugs from cases extending over a 10 year period.

Fort Myers detectives loaded 99 boxes worth of confiscated drugs and paraphernalia and burned them at an undisclosed location last week.

"(It represents) thousands and thousands of hours of individual officers works on the streets, whether they're stopping vehicles and finding narcotics on them or purchasing narcotics," said Lt. William Newhouse.

Cocaine, marijuana, heroin, perscription pills, and various pipes were part of the burning that took place during one of the department's largest operations of its kind.

Some of the drugs date back over a 10 year span.

Investigators are required to keep the drugs as evidence for at least 60 days after the final court date for the case.

"It involves a lot of research to research through the clerks office to make sure the case is over and done with and that the appeals have been completed," said Newhouse.

Newhouse said the department routinely performs the process, but this one opens a significant chunk of their evidence vault back up.