A case that made national news this week has hit close to home. The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed 17 local drug cases are being reviewed as part of an investigation into a chemist at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey announced Saturday that the agency has begun a review of all cases processed by a chemist in FDLE’s Pensacola Regional Crime Laboratory. That chemist was identified Monday as Joseph Graves. His name was not made public until he submitted a letter of resignation. Sources say he did not address any allegations in that letter.
According to an FDLE press release, last week, in conjunction with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney William Eddins’ Office, FDLE began an investigation into missing prescription pain pills from the evidence room at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The missing drugs had been replaced with over-the-counter medications.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, investigators determined that each case with missing drugs had been analyzed by one Pensacola chemist. The FDLE Office of Executive Investigations has 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.
Each regional Special Agent in Charge is contacting local law enforcement leaders and state attorneys so that they may take appropriate action regarding
According to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE investigators will be in their office this week inspecting evidence in 17 drug cases handled by the chemist.
FDLE reports the chemist worked nearly 2,600 cases for 80 law enforcement agencies spanning 35 counties and 12 judicial circuits. Liberty and Jefferson are the only two counties in the panhandle where the chemist had not worked cases.
Graves was arrested Tuesday night. He was charged with grand theft of a controlled substance, 12 counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and nine counts of trafficking in illegal drugs and was being held on $290,000 bond.