An internal probe of missing drugs on Clay County rescue units has the feel of a teen-ager trying to reload water into vodka bottles after raiding his or her parents’ liquor cabinet. Clay County authorities announced the investigation last week after finding medications missing from seven of 12 rescue units, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The names of the drugs were not released, but they are used for critically injured and ill patients, the newspaper reported. The county has ordered drug tests for all employees who work on those seven units. A lieutenant noticed uneven amounts of liquid medication in vials during a routine inspection, leading to a further investigation. The lids on some of the vials were found to be punctured. Police suspect that the person or persons who tampered with the vials were using the drugs themselves and not selling them, the newspaper reported.
It’s unclear whether the drug tests will be helpful in the investigation. Narcotics vary dramatically in how long they stay in one’s system and authorities have not released a specific timeline on when the tampering occurred. Most employees, especially law enforcement or rescue personnel, can be subject to drug testing if the agency has reasonable suspicion – sometimes not even that much. If the standard is reasonable suspicion, it would likely apply in this case. Legally, it may not stand up, but if the worker wants to keep his or her job, the employees will almost definitely have to comply. But criminal charges and sanctions from work are two complete different things. And while a career and livelihood are obviously important, they take a back seat to spending years behind bars.
Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney has worked for people accused of using or selling all sorts of drugs – from garden variety street drugs to the prescription pills that have ramped up in popularity in recent years. Penalties range dramatically based on the drug involved and our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in the minimum mandatory sentences and what the potential exposure is for you or your loved one.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County Criminal Lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.