Officials: 1,000 incarcerated due to chemist conduct
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Authorities said they have identified about 1,000 individuals who are currently incarcerated because of a chemist’s conduct.
Investigators said Annie Dookhan, the chemist involved with mishandling evidence at a state drug lab, dealt with over 30,000 samples.
An office has now been set up to determine if criminal cases were affected.
“We have been able to potentially identify over 1,000 individuals who are presently incarcerated,” said David Meier, special counsel to the governor.
Authorities said there are 690 people currently in state prison and 450 people in county jails. Officials said all of those cases were handled by the chemist. These numbers do not include people who have been serving federal prison time or those awaiting trial.
“These are individuals whose drug samples were in some way worked on by the chemist at the Department of Public Health drug laboratory, where she either served as a primary chemist or secondary chemist working on testing drugs, which allegedly were associated with those individuals,” said Meier.
District attorneys, public defenders, members of the U.S. attorney’s office and state police met to discuss the future of 30,000-plus cases that may have been affected. Cases will be cross-referenced with files, drug samples, docket numbers and other identify information.
Once those who are incarcerated are dealt with, the next task will begin.
“That is individuals who might have previous been convicted, previously been on probation, previously served a sentence or otherwise been punished as a result of a drug case which potentially may have been affected,” said Meier.
Officials said it won’t take years to straighten out, but they would not pinpoint a time length.