Florida crime lab analyst arrested, charged with stealing, selling drugs seized as evidence

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By BRENDAN FARRINGTON and MELISSA NELSON, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a former Florida crime lab analyst is under arrest on charges that he stole and sold prescription pills seized as evidence in criminal cases.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced that Joseph Graves was arrested Tuesday. It comes a day after the chemist resigned from his job at a Pensacola lab that tests drug evidence.

Investigators say Graves replaced painkillers he was testing as evidence with non-prescription pills. He is charge with then selling the painkillers.

Graves began working for the department in 2006 and has handled about 2,600 cases, most of which are drug related. Evidence he handled came from 80 law enforcement agencies from 35 counties. Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey has said hundreds of drug cases might now be compromised.

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