Cape Gazette
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Two Medical Examiner's Office employees indicted in drug scandal

By Melissa Steele | May 28, 2014

A grand jury has handed up an indictment of two employees of the Medical Examiner's Office in connection with a drug scandal that has impacted hundreds of court cases across the state.

James Woodson, 38, of Wilmington and Farnam Daneshgar, 54, of Wilmington were arrested May 28 by Delaware State Police, said Jason Miller, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

In April, Woodson was suspended with pay from his $42,000 position with the office. Miller said Woodson was a death investigator with the office who also had served as a courier for the Controlled Substances Laboratory within the Medical Examiner's Office. The lab has been closed since February, when the investigation was announced.

Woodson was indicted on charges 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 lab. He also was charged with violating the terms of use governing his access to the DELJIS database in April. Woodson's bond was set at $20,000.

Daneshgar was a chemist in the lab. He was indicted on two counts of falsifying business records for allegedly failing to produce reports documenting discrepancies in drug evidence in two cases, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia related to evidence seized during a search of his home. His bond was set at $5,000 secured.

In a written statement, Attorney General Beau Biden said his office continues to investigate the drug tampering scandal that began in January when evidence was discovered missing during a Kent County drug trial.

“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," Biden said.

 

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