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FDLE investigating missing drugs from over dozens of cases

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a chemist from its Pensacola lab, after learning prescription pain medication was missing from cases the chemist handled.
    The investigation began last week, when the Escambia County Sheriff's Office discovered prescription 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 FDLE chemist.

FDLE says the chemist has handled nearly 26-hundred cases from across the state since 2006.
The department is sending investigation teams to 35 counties Monday, 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."

Bailey says, 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.
We are keeping a close eye on this developing story and we will continue to bring you new information as soon as we get it.