In Boston Massachusetts, chemist Annie Dookhan was accused of drug tampering and evidence tampering by way of altering the weight of the samples of the drugs that were being tested in an investigation. This trial has had an unforeseen effect that allowed a drug defendant, David Danielli, to withdraw his original plea of guilt for drug trafficking oxycodone pills. Reporters share that there is a concern that because of this scandal there is a possibility that many drug convictions could be jeopardized if Dookhan is proven guilty for tampering with evidence.
It is said that Dookhan quit her job at the lab in March and investigators closed down the lab last month pending the criminal investigation. At this time she hasn't been officially charged with any crimes yet, though their suspicions are heavy. The investigators discovered in June that their suspicions of where Dookhan violated the protocols are more severe than they originally expected. Because of this, Danielli's lawyer immediately took action and sought to have his guilty plea revoked in place of a lesser plea.
This investigation is having a ripple effect, one administrator has already been fired and another two have stepped down from their positions as a response to the investigation. As stated, the investigators have discovered that the weight of the accused crimes are greater than expected, at this time they have discovered that there have been the mishandling of over 60,000 drug samples, with an estimated 34,000 defendants involved over the past 9 years.
One of the supervisors, who stepped down, DPH Commissioner John Auerbach, addresses that he is willing to take responsibility for the carelessness of the lab, and the lack of supervision that should have detected the acts of the accused long ago. While he is furious at the actions of those working for him, he doesn't believe that there was any attempt made by the supervisors to cover up the accused actions. They are currently seeking to understand what went wrong that allowed the illegal acts to go unnoticed. Auerbach believes that there were signs that were ignored, one of them being the extremely high number of samples that were being tested on a regular basis by the suspect.
If convicted of the crime, Annie Dookhan can be facing serious penalties with the law, and it is likely that many cases involving her lab tests will be brought in question. If you or someone you know has been accused of mishandling drug samples or any involvement with illegal substances, contact Freedman & Freedman today to discuss your case, you deserve an experienced criminal defense attorney who is ready to help you. Call today for more information and a free case evaluation!