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Florida crime lab analyst accused of stealing, selling drugs is released from jail on bond

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In this police mug made available by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office shows Joseph Graves on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014 in Pensacola, Fla. Graves a former Florida crime lab analyst , is accused of stealing and selling painkillers and other drugs that he was supposed to be testing as evidence at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (AP Photo/Escambia County Sheriff's Office, HOPD) (The Associated Press)

Documents show a former Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab analyst told investigators he had problems with his back and knew he was in trouble when confronted about hundreds of narcotics pills missing from sealed evidence containers.

The information comes from an affidavit released Wednesday morning detailing the evidence against Joseph Graves. Graves was released from the Escambia County Jail late Tuesday on a $290,000 bond hours after his arrest on charges of grand theft, tampering with evidence and drug trafficking.

Investigators are reviewing about 2,600 cases from around the state processed by Graves at the Pensacola lab. Prosecutors allege Graves stole the narcotics after replacing them with over-the-counter allergy, aspirin, laxatives and homeopathic pills. Experts say the allegations of evidence tampering could create a massive headache for Florida courts.

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