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Eddins: 'Rearrested Crime Lab Chemist Not Expected To Face Any Newer Charges'

Escambia County State Attorney's office

An investigation into a former state crime lab chemist is still ongoing, even after his rearrest Wednesday on additional charges. Joseph Graves is accused of stealing drug evidence and replacing it with over-the-counter medicine. But, the top prosecutor in the case says he doesn’t anticipate any new charges to be filed.

Initially, Graves was arrested back in February on 12 counts of tampering with or fabricating evidence and nine counts of trafficking illegal drugs. That’s after investigators reviewed the 2,600 cases that the Pensacola chemist handled for 80 law enforcement agencies in more than half the state’s counties. Graves later got out on a $290,000 bond.

“Once the investigation was completed, we reviewed the information that was obtained from the different counties in different locations that had not been included in our original charges and filed these additional charges,” said Bill Eddins, whose office is prosecuting the case.

Eddins is the State Attorney for the 1st Judicial Circuit in the Panhandle area. The new charges he’s talking about include an additional 41 counts of trafficking in illegal drugs, on top of the original charges. Eddins says that was enough for a rearrest, which landed Graves in the Bay County Jail.

“Each count had a bond placed on it of $25,000 for a total bond of $1,025,000,” Eddins added.

The joint investigation by the Escambia County Sheriff’s office, Eddins’ office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement began in January when sheriff’s deputies were first alerted to the missing prescription pain pills from the evidence room. Graves was relieved of duty at the end of January.

Stay tuned to next week's Capital Report for more on this story!

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.