Multiple raps have been filed against Massachusetts state chemist after she forged evidences against alleged thousands of drug offenders in the state.
According to report, officials of state laboratory, where Annie Dookhan worked for over nine years, the chemist committed the crime because of her ambition.
More than 40,000 drug felons, also known as “Dookhan defendants,” had been arrested or sentenced on drug charges based on evidence or testimony supplied by Dookhan.
The ambitious state chemist who processed drug samples confiscated from suspects at triple the speed of her colleagues. Officials say her ambition led her to perpetrate one of the most far-reaching frauds in Massachusetts’s history.
State Prosecutors say Dookhan declared drug samples positive that she had not bothered to test, tampered with evidence, forged signatures and lied about her credentials to enhance her standing in court as an expert witness.
Because of her actions, she may have tainted more than 40,000 drug samples involving thousands of defendants in the state.
In 2011, Dookhan was caught after forging a colleague’s initials. She pleaded guilty to 27 counts, including obstruction of justice, perjury and tampering with evidence, and was sentenced to three to five years in prison, plus two years’ probation. Her lawyer had sought one year; prosecutors had asked for five to seven years.
The raps against Dookhan took a long time to come together.
Officials audited her work in 2010 found that she was processing cases at an unusually fast clip. But auditors found nothing wrong. In June 2011, however, Dookhan was caught forging a colleague’s initials and was suspended.
Still, though she had been removed from her lab duties, she continued to testify as an expert witness. She was not placed on administrative leave until February 2012.
In August 2012, she admitted she had mishandled samples. As a police report described it: “She became sad and a slight tear came to her eye and she stated, ‘I screwed up big time. I messed up. I messed up bad. It’s my fault. I don’t want the lab to get in trouble.’ ”
Meanwhile, David Meier, a Boston defense lawyer hired by Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, to determine the scope of the scandal, said the cases of as many as 40,323 people might have been tainted during Ms. Dookhan’s nine-year tenure.
According to the report, more than 300 people have been released.
One of the most recent was Jamell Spurill, who had been jailed on drug charges. He was quickly rearrested for possession of a stolen gun.
When he was picked up, prosecutors say, he told the police: “I just got out thanks to Annie Dookhan. I love that lady.”