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Levy drug cases not affected by FDLE probe

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Pills substituted for evidence at Pensacola lab

By The Staff

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement review of cases dating back to 2006 that were handled by a chemist in the agency's Pensacola lab does not include any from Levy County.

Possibly affected are nearly 2,600 cases for 80 law enforcement agencies spanning 35 counties and 12 judicial circuits that the chemist worked, according to an FDLE press release.

Levy County is not on the list of affected counties.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey announced on Saturday, Feb. 1, that a review of all cases processed by the chemist in FDLE’s Pensacola Regional Crime Laboratory between 2006 and the present are being checked.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, State Attorney William Eddins’ Office and the 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 opened a criminal investigation and the chemist was relieved of duty.

Each regional FDLE Special Agent in Charge is contacting local law enforcement leaders and state attorneys so that they may take appropriate action regarding pending cases. 

On Monday FDLE teams were deployed to impacted agencies to inspect all evidence handled by the chemist to confirm cases potentially compromised.  The chemist worked nearly 2,600 cases for 80 law enforcement agencies spanning 35 counties and 12 judicial circuits.