Chemist Stealing Evidence

Chemist Stealing Evidence

Posted By Kansas City DUI Attorney - Jerry Wallentine || 19-Feb-2014

As a Kansas DUI defense attorney I sometimes subpoena the reports for chemical tests, which were performed by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations. The information I receive back it sometimes very informative. However, I never received a packet back stating that the evidence had been stolen. Apparently thefts occur in the labs. A man who worked as a chemist in a crime lab in Florida is now being charged with grand theft, tampering with evidence and drug trafficking. Joseph Graves worked 2,600 cases for 80 law enforcement agencies in 35 Florida counties and 12 judicial circuits over the past 8 years of his career. During this time he was replacing prescription drugs that were being held as evidence with over-the-counter medicine and selling the prescription drugs himself. Once the crime lab realized some of the evidence was missing and replaced with something else they started reviewing the cases and discovered that all of the cases in which the drugs had been replaced had been worked by Joseph Graves. It will be interesting to see how a criminal defense lawyer may handle the issue if the drugs were stolen in one of the cases they were defending. The savvy attorney would potentially force a trial and order an independent testing of the evidence. While a situation like the above could benefit a person charged with felony or misdemeanor drug possession, it likely won't apply in drunk driving cases. Alas, why would someone want to steal vials of blood?

Categories: Chemical Testing, Drugs, DUI