Police Chemist Arrested for Faking Drug Tests

Thousands of convictions could go out the window in Boston

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 28, 2012 12:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – Former Massachusetts State Police chemist Annie Dookhan was led out of her home in handcuffs today after sparking a scandal that could wind up freeing thousands jailed on drug charges. Dookhan allegedly lied both when applying for her job and under oath about having a master's in chemistry, and according to state police documents obtained by the Boston Globe, she has admitted to improperly removing evidence from storage, forging signatures, and cutting corners on drug tests for "two or three years."

Dookhan told police that in some cases she tested only a small sample of the batch she was supposed to analyze, and that "a few times" she even recorded tests as positive when they were actually negative. Twenty drug offenders have already been freed as a result of the scandal, but that's likely the tip of the iceberg; authorities say she was involved in testing for 1,141 inmates currently in prison. During her nine-year career, she was involved in 34,000 criminal cases. She now faces two counts of obstruction of justice and one of falsifying her academic record.

Annie Dookhan, center, is escorted to a cruiser outside her home in Franklin, Mass., Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)
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