Saturday, July 20, 2013

Deborah Madden: San Francisco; Former drug lab tech sentenced to a year of home confinement for cocaine possession; Defence argued that "the drug lab's problems resulted from severe understaffing and management problems that preceded Madden's actions." Her actions led to temporary closure of the lab and dismissal of hundreds of criminal cases; KTVU;

STORY: "Former SFPD drug lab tech sentenced to a year of home confinement," published by

 GIST:  "A former San Francisco police crime laboratory technician avoided a prison sentence Friday when a federal judge sentenced her to one year of home confinement and five years of probation for misdemeanor cocaine possession. Deborah Madden, 63, of San Mateo, told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, "I'm not proud of the way I ended my career. I ended it in a shameful way. "I apologize to the people of San Francisco and to the criminal justice system," Madden said at the sentencing at the federal courthouse in San Francisco......Madden did not testify at the federal trials, but in a taped interview used as evidence, she admitted to police investigators in 2010 that she took trace amounts of cocaine from her office in late 2009 and said she had been trying to control an alcohol problem. In her written plea agreement, she admitted she "knowingly possessed cocaine outside the scope of my employment" within San Francisco on Dec. 3, 2009, but did not say where she possessed the drug. Madden's actions and other problems at the laboratory led to the temporary closure of the drug analysis unit and the district attorney's dismissal of hundreds of criminal cases that depended on evidence analyzed there. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Caputo, who said that more 700 cases were dismissed, unsuccessfully argued that that factor and the need for deterrence would justify a prison sentence. Caputo argued that unlike some drug defendants, Madden had the resources to seek substance abuse treatment, but "instead, she tampered with evidence." He said, "How she came to possess the cocaine is important." Defense attorney Paul DeMeester contended in a sentencing brief that the drug lab's problems resulted from severe understaffing and management problems that preceded Madden's actions. ........In a separate state case, Madden was convicted in San Mateo County Superior Court in 2011 of possessing 0.09 grams of cocaine found in a search of her home in March 2010 and was sentenced to undergo drug counseling."

The entire story can be found at:


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