UPDATE: Two Indicted In DE Drug Tampering Investigation - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Two Indicted In DE Drug Tampering Investigation

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WILMINGTON, Del. - Two employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Delaware, have been indicted in the investigation of compromised drug evidence within the Controlled Substances Lab.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Beau Biden announced that a New Castle Grand Jury indicted 38-year-old James Woodson, and 54-year-old Farnam Daneshgar, both of Wilmington, in connection to the ongoing criminal investigation.

Woodson, who had been a courier at the lab, and most recently a death investigator, was indicted on one count each of trafficking cocaine, theft of a controlled substance - cocaine, official misconduct, and tampering with evidence, for allegedly removing cocaine from an evidence bag at the Controlled Substances Lab.

Daneshgar, who worked as a chemist at the lab, was indicted on two counts of falsifying business records, for allegedly not making reports showing discrepancies in drug evidence that he reviewed in two specific cases. Daneshgar was additionally charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia related to items found during a search of his home. 

Both men were arrested on Wednesday by Delaware State Police, and arraigned in New Castle County Superior Court. Woodson is being held on $20,000 bond, while Daneshgar is being held on $5,000 bond.

John Brady, a Delaware Defense Attorney, says Daneshgar faces a maximum of 3.5 years in jail, and Woodson is looking at up to 30 years in jail, with two years as a minimum mandatory sentence if he is convicted of all charges.

Biden says "With these indictments we are beginning to hold individuals accountable for the significant damage that has been caused to the integrity of our criminal justice system. I want to recognize the Delaware State Police and the staff from my office who have led a comprehensive investigation to understand the full scope of the irregularities and identify those responsible, and also to ensure that the criminal justice system continues to operate fairly and in the interest of justice. I want to remind the public that this investigation is ongoing, and that it remains our intention to publicly disclose details of our findings at the earliest opportunity, when doing so does not compromise the ongoing investigation."

The investigation into the Controlled Substances Lab started in January, after drug evidence was apparently found to be compromised. Officials say these compromises included drug evidence being tampered with, missing, and/or substituted. This investigation is still on-going at this time, so information is still limited.

"Because the charge says trafficking cocaine, it doesn't explain the missing marijuana nor does it explain the missing oxycodone pills, so I don't believe the investigation is over yet," says Brady.

The Delaware Department of Justice reminds the public that an indictment is just an allegation, not evidence of guilt. Those accused are presumed innocent, and entitled to a jury trial to provide evidence for each charge.

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