Number of drug lab cases tied to Dookhan reaches 40,000

The state drug testing lab in Jamaica Plain was closed after former chemist Annie Dookhan was arrested for evidence tampering. (Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro)
The state drug testing lab in Jamaica Plain was closed after former chemist Annie Dookhan was arrested for evidence tampering. (Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro)

The number of drug offenders whose cases involved alleged rogue state chemist Annie Dookhan has increased. 

David Meier, the special attorney appointed to identify the offenders whose cases were potentially compromised, said Tuesday that he submitted a final report to Gov. Deval Patrick.

Meier also said that the number of people whose drug samples involved Dookhan rose from an original estimate of about 37,000.

“As of today, there are about 40,000 names of individuals whose drug samples were associated with chemist Annie Dookhan in some way,” Meier said.

Authorities have accused Dookhan of mishandling drug samples during her time working as a chemist at the state’s Hinton Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.

Meier said his group worked for about 11 months and conducted a “file-by-file” review of cases that were potentially compromised by Dookhan between 2003 and when the lab was closed.

Meier, a former prosecutor in Middlesex and Suffolk counties, was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick in September to lead the review of thousands of drug samples potentially tainted by Dookhan.

Patrick ordered the shut down of the state lab in Jamaica Plain last August after the scope of Dookhan’s alleged mishandling was determined. That lab handled about 8,000 drug cases a year and was previously overseen by the Department of Public Health. State police took over the lab and others last July after a move by the legislature.

The drug lab scandal led to the resignation of a top state health official.

The alleged mishandling of evidence called into question the convictions of some people who faced drug charges. The release of some of those inmates was then sought while the cases were sorted out and drug samples were confirmed.

During an update to state legislators in November, then-state Secretary of Public Safety and Security Mary Elizabeth Heffernan said that about 200 inmates had been released statewide as a result the mishandling. About 80 people were released in Boston at the time of that update.

State officials had estimated that as many as 34,000 criminal drug cases may have been impacted.

Dookhan was arrested in September and was charged in various counties. She was charged by the attorney general’s office with obstruction of justice and falsely pretending to hold a degree.

When Dookhan submitted her resume, she allegedly claimed to hold a master’s degree from UMass Boston.

Dookhan has pleaded not guilty.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.