General Crime

* Deborah Madden Police Lab Technician To be Tried on Alleged Cocaine Theft Charge

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A federal judge in San Francisco today set a trial date of June 18 for a former San Francisco police crime laboratory technician accused of stealing cocaine from the facility. Deborah Madden, 61, was indicted in December on a federal charge of obtaining cocaine by subterfuge in 2009.

The charge carries a possible maximum sentence of four years in prison if she is convicted. The date for the trial, estimated to last one week, was set by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston. Prosecutor Andrew Caputo told the judge that a plea bargain does not appear likely. “Both sides agree a trial is going to be necessary. It is not going to be resolved,” Caputo said. Madden, who is now retired, is free on $25,000 bail while awaiting trial.

She attended the brief hearing but did not speak. Her alleged theft of small amounts of cocaine from the lab’s drug analysis unit led to the closure of the facility and prosecutors’ dismissal of hundreds of criminal cases, among other repercussions.

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