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Fla. man charged over organs found in storage unit

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Posted: Sep 10, 2012 12:45 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2012 12:45 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: organs, storage unit, medical examiner, human remains, Florida, Panhandle, Dr. Michael Berkland, hazardous waste, brains, hearts, lungs, a Pensacola, soda cups, WBRZ

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A former medical examiner has been arrested on charges of keeping human remains in a rented storage unit in the Florida Panhandle.

Dr. Michael Berkland was arrested Friday on charges of improper storage of hazardous waste, keeping a public nuisance and driving with a suspended license. He was released on $10,000 bail.

Berkland's attorney says he'll start preparing his defense next week.

More than 100 crudely preserved brains, hearts and lungs were discovered in a Pensacola storage unit last month. Authorities say the organs were kept in soda cups and plastic food containers.

The medical examiner's office in Pensacola says about 10 families have been notified that their relatives' remains were in the unit. Berkland worked there from 1997 to 2003.

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