Last week it was the chief of police fired for allegedly not following policies. This week it is an Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime analyst in the news. FDLE lab analyst Joseph Graves is being investigated for allegedly tampering with evidence in thousand of criminal cases. This includes people serving prison sentences that could be set free because of his alleged actions. FDLE law enforcement official investigating the crime lab analyst announced they believe the chemist even swapped prescription pain pills that were in evidence for over-the-counter medications. The chemist worked in FDLE’s Tallahassee crime lab where many of the the drugs seized in a criminal case or blood in a DUI case is analyzed.
The investigation stemming from a discovery by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office of missing prescription pain pills from the evidence room. The missing drugs had been replaced with over-the-counter medications. In all of the cases in which the drug evidence was missing, the drugs had been analyzed by the same chemist, who overall had processed 2,600 cases for 80 law-enforcement agencies since 2006. Whether the analyst handled any criminal cases in Polk County is unknown at this time.
The ramifications of this investigation will be huge. Already, one State Attorney’s Office had to ask for a continuance in a trial of a man charged with trafficking in hydrocodone because of the chemist’s involvement in the case. This could possibly lead to the trafficking charges being dropped. Criminal charges could be brought against the lab analyst. Recently, a lab analyst in Massachusetts was sentenced to to 5 years in prison for similar allegations after pleading guilty to 27 counts of misleading investigators, filing false reports, and tampering with evidence.
This strikes another blow to the integrity of the criminal justice system. One of the jobs of a criminal defense lawyer is to fight this type of injustice and see that you are treated fairly in court. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, call an attorney that will fight for justice for you!
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Thomas C. Grajek 863-688-4606
Handling all felony and misdemeanor criminal and drug cases in Polk County, Florida.