FDLE

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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