FDLE starts statewide review of crime lab drug evidence

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Missing pain pills in an Escambia County evidence room have prompted an in-depth FDLE investigation into a Pensacola chemist.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has begun a review of all cases processed by a chemist in FDLE's Pensacola Regional Crime Laboratory.

FDLE began an investigation into missing prescription pain pills from the evidence room at the Escambia County Sheriff's Office last week. The missing drugs had been replaced with over-the-counter medications.

On Thursday investigators determined that each case with missing drugs had been analyzed by one Pensacola chemist. FDLE opened a criminal investigation and the chemist has been relieved of duty.

FDLE is reviewing evidence from all cases handled by this chemist between 2006 and present. The FDLE told First Coast News that cases in Marion County and Columbia County may have been affected.

Each regional Special Agent in Charge is contacting local law enforcement leaders and state attorneys so that they may take appropriate action regarding pending cases.

"According to these serious allegations, this individual has allegedly violated a sacred position of trust as a law enforcement official, and should an arrest take place, I will demand the most severe penalty possible under Florida law," said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Beginning Monday, FDLE teams will be deployed to impacted agencies to inspect all evidence handled by the chemist to confirm cases potentially compromised. The chemist worked nearly 2,600 cases for 80 law enforcement agencies spanning 35 counties and 12 judicial circuits.


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