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Seized cash funds new lab

A new crime lab under construction in Tucson, Ariz. will be funded by $17.7 million seized in a crime committed four years ago, according to Attorney General Terry Goddard.

The announcement was made Wednesda

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A new crime lab under construction in Tucson, Ariz. will be funded by $17.7 million seized in a crime committed four years ago, according to Attorney General Terry Goddard.

The announcement was made Wednesday at the current facility - which will receive an overhaul in the new construction project.

The new facility will have an added DNA testing lab and an indoor firing range, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano said. The building will also get a stable electrical system and infrastructure overhaul. Recent electrical system malfunctions resulted in damaging $100,000 of DNA testing equipment.

The funds for construction became available following the settlement of a fraud case against C.P. Direct - a Scottsdale-based Internet product sales company. The company marketed bogus nutritional supplements, investigators said. $4 million of the seized cash was returned to victims, but the bulk of the money was left to the state when many victims were reluctant to come forward and claim a refund.

The current crime lab, which Napolitano said is overcrowded, handles about 10,000 cases a year, and covers the needs of all agencies in southern Arizona. A news release issued by Napolitano's office said the new facility will allow for five to seven new positions in Tucson.

Administrators hope to break ground this summer