• FDLE says attorney's missing drug evidence allegations are false


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it wants a local attorney held accountable after he raised questions about how it handled drug evidence in his client's case.

    Earlier this week, Channel 9 reported about attorney Robert Bounauro, who went to court after he felt evidence in his client's drug case may have disappeared.

    FDLE officials said a report shows where the discrepancy is and in fact, the drugs in question aren't missing.

    The November 2012 FDLE lab report indicates specifically that the FDLE did not analyze all the drugs that were seized, which is standard procedure. 

    And Channel 9's Kathi Belich said that's where the confusion began.

    The report said the FDLE weighed and tested a packet of cocaine weighing about 500 grams and packets of pot weighing about 30 pounds.

    Bounauro said  those weights were far less than the amount seized so he filed a court motion, saying, "The discrepancy reflects a break in the chain of custody, evidence tampering or destruction of evidence."

    "It was a factual misrepresentation by the defense both to the court and to the public on this instance and we intend to hold the defense attorney accountable for his fraudulent accusation," said FDLE Special Agent Danny Banks.

    Banks said the report actually shows the drugs Buonauro claims are missing are indeed accounted for.

    There are lines in the report that say "remaining bags of white powder" and "remaining bags of plant material." 

    Banks said those bags make up the remainder of the weight.

    Buonauro filed his motion after an FDLE chemist was arrested for allegedly stealing painkillers he was testing at an Escambia County lab. 

    The FDLE is taking responsibility for those alleged actions but said the cases are not connected.

    Buonauro said he's still trying to get to the bottom of everything.

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