FDLE

FDLE

Joseph Graves, the former Florida Department of Law Enforcement chemist charged with racketeering and other offenses, was given a 15-year sentence after entering a guilty plea on Wednesday. 

Two years after his arrest, a former lab technician from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) remains months away from trial.

Joseph Graves faces myriad charges: pleading not guilty to evidence tampering, drug trafficking, racketeering and grand theft while working out of FDLE’s Pensacola office. State Attorney Bill Eddins says his office will prosecute what he calls a very complex case.

FDLE

In the wake of terror attacks in Paris, Colorado Springs and San Bernardino, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is bringing back the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign.

“This was something that was launched in 2011,” says FDLE's Molly Best. “Florida wanted to make sure that we take the initiative in light of recent events. It’s so important that our citizens in our communities are aware of what to look for.”

In this installment of our report on cold cases, Dave Dunwoody speaks with a local agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement – who says part of their cold case work is “in the cards.”

Dennis Haley (named FDLE agent of the year for 2014) works in the Pensacola office. He says often they receive cold cases from police departments and sheriff’s offices that don’t have the time to follow up on them.

Note:  This series originally aired on WUWF in October.

 In the next second installment of our Cold Case series, Dave Dunwoody looks at how they’re handled by local law enforcement.

Most cold cases are homicide, which do not have a statute of limitations, that can be re-activated upon receipt of new information. But Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says strictly speaking, they don’t have a case that goes totally inactive.

Florida Department of Corrections

Florida’s new Secretary of Corrections is facing questions from state lawmakers concerning confidence, inmate deaths, and complaints of abuse from officers. The main question appears to center on the agency’s ability to police itself.

Julie Jones was named to the post on January 5. Two weeks later, she met with various legislators on her game plan to restore confidence and ease concerns.

“I’m a very plain-spoken honest person, and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing in order to get this thing fixed,” said Jones.

Florida's Department of Law Enforcement is getting a new leader, but questions remain about why Governor Rick Scott abruptly shook up the agency.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam,  the Florida Cabinet, voted Tuesday to appoint longtime FDLE veteran Richard Swearingen to replace Gerald Bailey as Commissioner.

Sources say Bailey was forced by the Scott administration to resign in December. But the Governor had a different take.

“He resigned,” said Scott.

FDLE

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement in February began the examination of alleged evidence tampering by a former employee in its Pensacola crime lab. The case focused on Joseph Graves -- who resigned as the lab’s analyst supervisor.

Graves’ resignation came in the wake of allegations that he may have tampered with evidence from the cases. He was suspended with pay.

The evidence involved was from 80 law enforcement agencies in the 35 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa. The reach was as far south as Monroe County.

FDLE

More charges are filed for a former Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab supervisor, who’s accused of stealing prescription drugs being held for evidence.

Joseph Graves did not appear before Circuit Judge Jan Shackelford for the arraignment on Thursday morning. He now faces an additional 32 counts of trafficking in illegal drugs.

Dave Dunwoody

Three suspects are in the Escambia County Jail, charged in connection with what authorities call the largest heroin bust in a decade.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, DEA, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are also involved in the case.

Photo via Twitter// @weartv

Inmates from the Escambia County Jail are scattered around detention facilities and hospitals in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties after Wednesday night’s explosion at the lockup. The blast is believed to have originated in a rear laundry room on the first floor, according to officials.

FDLE

The investigation continues into the case of an ex-FDLE lab supervisor in Pensacola, accused of tampering with evidence connected to drug cases.

Thirty-two-year-old Joseph Graves was arrested last month and charged with possession or trafficking in illegal drugs; evidence tampering, and grand theft.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office

“Anything for a Buck,” launched in 2011 to take illegal guns off the streets of Escambia County, is among several stings run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that are now under investigation by the Justice Department.

FDLE

A Pace man faces child pornography charges, stemming from an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that began earlier this month.

Thirty-five-year-old Josh Herrin was arrested Thursday, after agents executed a search warrant at his residence on Tiburon Boulevard. Jeff Duncan at FDLE’s Pensacola office says their cyber-crime team conducted the investigation.

fdle.gov

The head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told legislators Wednesday that the arrest of a former crime-lab chemist will lead to new precautions in handling drug evidence.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey gave the Senate Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice an update on Joseph Graves -- the Pensacola crime-lab chemist – who’s accused of compromising hundreds of state drug cases.

Graves is free on $290,000 bond, with arraignment set for February 25th in Escambia County Circuit Court.  More charges may still be pending.

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