Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Joseph Graves was a crime laboratory supervisor in Pensacola, where he handled more than 2500 cases in 35 counties. Upon reevaluation of drug evidence, it was found that 100 pills were missing and the remaining evidence had been replaced with over-the-counter medication. Graves’ charges included grand theft and drug trafficking. In this case, the agency was praised because they discovered the issue and addressed it.

Considerations in the case for further discussion/research are as follows:

  • • Background checks upon hire for scientists, to include history of substance abuse
  • • Random drug testing for scientists
  • • Evidence access, chain of custody, and access monitoring
  • • Lack of oversight and possible mismanagement
  • • Need for evidence custodians
  • • Security issues
  • • Increased work for the same number of scientists
  • • Laboratory policies and procedures
  • • The effect of a single individual’s actions on the number of cases, people, and funds harmed
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