|NESS National Employee Screening Services|
Employee Of Drug Testing Company
Helps Criminals Cheat On Drug Test
February 27, 20111
- United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that an
Ortiz entered a
guilty plea to count 1 of a 15-count indictment charging him with
violating federal law that prohibits obstructive conduct intended
unlawfully to affect the presentation of evidence in federal
Specifically, Ortiz pled guilty to helping a criminal defendant cheat on a urinalysis test and thus preventing the U.S. Probation Department from reporting a possible violation of supervision to the federal court.
Ortiz's plea, Magistrate Judge Puglisi discussed the importance of the
drug testing to the federal criminal judicial system and noted that
Ortiz's unlawful conduct "seriously undermined the system." At
sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled, Ortiz faces up to 20 years'
imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
Ortiz, a former
employee of Relevancy, Inc. (Relevancy), a company that assists U.S.
Probation with drug testing of criminal defendants, was arrested on July
19, 2010. According to the indictment, Relevancy collected urine samples
for drug testing from criminal defendants who were supervised by U.S.
Probation and were required by court order to undergo drug testing as a
condition of their supervision.
Under its contract
with U.S. Probation, Relevancy was required accurately and honestly to
label the urine samples with the names of criminal defendants providing
the samples and then to transfer the properly labeled samples to the
U.S. Probation laboratory where the samples were analyzed.
expectation that urine samples were properly labeled, U.S. Probation
routinely relied on the results of drug testing on the urine samples it
received from Relevancy to prepare reports on criminal defendants that
it submitted to federal judges, and the federal judges relied on the
reports to determine whether criminal defendants had violated the
conditions of their supervision.
charged Ortiz with 12 counts of helping criminal defendants cheat on
urinalysis tests by discarding their urine samples and three counts of
permitting criminal defendants to bring in substitute samples instead of
providing their own urine samples for the drug tests. Ortiz entered his
plea to count 1, charging him with permitting a criminal defendant to
substitute a urine sample. In his plea agreement, Ortiz made the
following admissions to support his guilty plea to count 1 of the
approximately January 2009 through February 2010, I was employed as a
urinalysis technician for Relevancy Inc. ("Relevancy") in
“In January of
2009, I was trained by a United States Probation Officer in the proper
procedures for chain-of-custody, observation and collection of urine
specimens submitted for drug testing in the federal District of
“I knew that
the urine sample provided by the probationer was not a legitimate
urine sample of that probationer. Furthermore, I knew that the
result of allowing the substituted urine sample would be that
Relevancy would be unable to provide an accurate urine specimen to
the United States Department of Probation which would, in turn,
prevent accurate information concerning a possible violation of
supervised release from being communicated to a United States
Under the terms of the plea agreement, counts 2 through 15 of the indictment will be dismissed when Ortiz is sentenced. Ortiz is released under the supervision of U.S. Probation pending his sentencing hearing.
Other News Stories
|©NESS National Employee Screening Services|