It was recently revealed that a chemist (in the drug unit) at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) may have been stealing the drugs he was paid to test. Further analysis revealed that the actual drugs in several cases were missing, replaced by over-the-counter pills. Joseph Graves, the subject of the investigation, has since resigned his post and invoked his right to remain silent. The evidence so far suggests that he may have been stealing the drugs he was supposed to test, either for abuse, or to traffic to other dealers and buyers. There are approximately 2600 cases that he worked on, and potentially some from southwest Florida.
The fallout from this scandal will takes months or years to sort out. They will try hard to charge him, but the burden of proof will be difficult: a lot of trust is placed with FDLE and other evidence custodians. How can they prove he took the drugs? The thing working in investigators’ favor is that chain of custody procedures dicatate that any time an evidence bag is opened, the person going in should intial it when they reseal it. He may have signed his own warrant. #badcops
UPDATE ALREADY! He has been arrested on drug charges! So far he’s charged with theft, evidence tampering, and multiple counts of trafficking. The trafficking charges will be nearly impossible to prove: how can they say how much volume of drugs he possessed, when the drugs are gone, and he’s the only one who can say what the drugs were. Ironically, his own reports confirming the content of the evidence bags will be used to try to show he possessed drugs!