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FDLE reviews cases handled ny Pensacola Chemist

Today the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will begin reviewing hundreds of cases that were handled by a Pensacola chemist suspected of stealing evidence.
   
The investigation began last week -- when the Escambia County Sheriff's Office discovered prescription pain pills were missing from its evidence room.
   
Investigators then found dozens of cases where prescription pills had been replaced with over-the-counter pills.

The FDLE says each case involving missing pills was handled by the same chemist.

The chemist has handled nearly 2600 cases from across the state since 2006.
The Department is sending investigation teams to 35 counties -- to inspect evidence in those cases.
   
Those counties include Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa.
"We're going back and looking at each case that was worked and we're going to the evidence rooms of sheriff's departments and police departments around the state, and actually looking at the prescription medications to see if that particular package is in fact a prescription and not an over-the-counter calcium tablet."
   
Depending on what investigators find -- it's possible that drug charges in those cases could be dropped -- and prisoners could be released.

So far the chemist has not been charged with any crime.
He has been relieved of all his duties and is now on paid leave.
FDLE says he will be fired immediately if it's confirmed that he stole the prescription pills.