TALLAHASSEE, FL (WCTV/CNN) - Hundreds of Florida drug convictions could be in jeopardy as officials investigate a state crime lab worker.
The worker is accused of tampering with drug evidence in more than half the state's counties.
It started with a problem in Pensacola.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators were alerted when drug evidence was missing, and then they found dozens of cases where prescription drugs were replaced with over-the-counter medicine.
The FDLE determined it all pointed to one of their lab chemists.
"It could be personal use. It could be trafficking. It could be each of those. We don't know," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said Saturday.
The FDLE is investigating all 2,600 drug cases the chemist has worked since 2006, which involve 80 law enforcement agencies and 35 of Florida's 67 counties.
"Our first priority is to find out exactly what happened in this particular case and work with the state attorneys to hold this person criminally accountable," Bailey said.
The FDLE is in the process of contacting law enforcement agencies around the state about this evidence breach.
A spokesman said the Tallahassee Police Department has already been contacted about possibly compromised cases.
"Because of this breach, we have a lot of work to do to restore the confidence of our colleagues and of the Florida public," Bailey said.
Beginning Monday, FDLE teams will be sent around the state to go through the potentially compromised cases.
The identity of the chemist has not been released pending charges.
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