Ex-crime lab analyst allegedly stole, sold drugs
TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida crime lab analyst was arrested on Tuesday and charged with stealing and selling painkillers and other drugs that he was supposed to be testing as evidence in criminal cases, the state law enforcement agency said.
Joseph Graves was arrested a day after he resigned from his position at a Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab in Pensacola. 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. He was being held on $290,000 bond.
The department began an investigation when the Escambia County Sheriff's office discovered drug evidence was missing. A further look found other cases Graves handled where painkillers were swapped with non-prescription drugs.
Graves is accused of selling oxycodone, morphine and hydromorphone.
Law enforcement department Commissioner Gerald Bailey has said hundreds of drug cases may be compromised.
“The actions of Joseph Graves are disgraceful. (The Florida Department of Law Enforcement) is working with State Attorneys' Offices statewide to ensure he is held accountable for his actions,” Bailey said.
Graves' attorney didn't return a message.
Graves began working for the department in December 2005 and was promoted to supervisor in 2009. He has handled about 2,600 cases, most of which are drug related. The compromised cases could affect 80 law enforcement agencies in 35 counties that had cases worked on by Graves.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.