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Hundreds of Florida drug cases possibly compromised

11:50 PM, Feb 1, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- "This has potential of impacting hundreds of cases across the state," says Gerald Bailey, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner.

Including the Bay area.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced a statewide review of crime laboratory drug evidence after they began investigating missing prescription pain pills in an evidence room.

"So far, we have dozens of cases we found where prescription pills had been replaced by over the counter medications," says Bailey.

Investigators determined that each case involving missing drugs had been analyzed by the same chemist.

"We identified that chemist processed 2,600 cases since 2006 to present day," says Bailey.

On Monday, FDLE teams will be sent out to review evidence that may have been tampered with by the chemist, which includes Pasco County and Hernando County.

"His case work represents one percent worked in that time, however, the impact will be significant," says Bailey.

The Pasco and Hernando County sheriff's offices say they are not sure how many cases may have been tampered with, but if they were, it could potentially allow criminals to be back on the streets.

"Because of [this] breach, we have a lot of work to do to restore confidence in the Florida public," says Bailey.

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