Florida Chemist Imperils Prescription Drug Convictions

A chemist with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Pensacola who conducted drug tests in 2,600 cases in 35 counties around the state has been relieved of duty after it was determined some of the drug samples in his cases were tampered with. The chemist allegedly swapped out some of the prescription pills with over the counter pills. Hundreds of drug convictions are now imperiled.

Head-scratching comment from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi:

"This situation simply underlines the extent of the problem our country faces with prescription drug abuse."

Really? A police chemist falsifies evidence and the blame lies not with him but with those using the medication?

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    Sigh (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 05:04:12 PM EST
    Well, this is not the first time that evidence has been falsified or tampered with by law enforcement labs.
    Nor will it probably be the last, unfortunately.

    Yep...welcome to Florida... (none / 0) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:08:46 PM EST
    Scams galore down here.  I caught a cashier taking a photo of my credit card at a pizza joint the other day and cancelled the card as I walked out.  The torture never stops.

    I interpret the AG's comment (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:54:07 PM EST
    as suggesting that the lab chemist was stealing the seized drugs to use himself; that is, that the chemist had his own prescription drug abuse problem.

    Actually, Bondi makes sense on this one... (none / 0) (#5)
    by unitron on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 10:03:05 PM EST
    ...in a way.

    It's a lot more likely that the chemist stole the pills for their own use or to sell to "junkies", rather than to a pharmacy looking for a better price on the stuff they use with which to fill prescriptions, so it's the demand caused by prescription drug abuse, the demand to get those pills outside of the usual legal channel (doctor, prescription, pharmacy) that provided sufficient incentive for the chemist to risk their career and freedom to pull the swap.

    If He Swapped the Good Stuff... (none / 0) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 04:39:12 PM EST
    ...with over the counter stuff to get high, the AG was correct, plus as a defense attorney, I would think that would be a good thing for clients.

    I know many folks who would love to have a guy like this working on their 'sample'.

    In Houston, they busted a ring that was going door to door in scrubs pretending to be the 'old medication disposal team'.  The did it because the DEA public ally announces, form time to time, that people can take their old meds to locations for disposal.  

    I guess a lot of people don't understand how sewage or trash work.

    Lack (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 08:03:16 PM EST
    of oversight runs through a lot of organizations both public and private, but I see some have taken a strong move toward practical protocols.

    Computers and cheap video make it possible to track activity, but some kind of real oversight is the heart of the problem.