Annie Dookhan, the Massachusetts crime lab technician charged with tainting 34,000 drug cases, is out of jail after posting $10,000 bail Friday.
Dookhan, 34, was arrested by Massachusetts State Police earlier in the day on charges of obstructing justice and lying about her training, Reuters reported.
The accusations against the Massachusetts state chemist caused a major headache for the Bay State’s justice system because the state said thousands of drug tests were called into question because of Dookhan’s actions. Dookhan’s work led to many indictments of innocent people, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.
"Her actions totally turned the system on its head," the state attorney general told a news conference, Reuters reported. "People absolutely deserve a system they can trust. Repairing trust is going to take time."
According to the charges against Dookhan, the state chemist would mix cocaine with test samples that were negative to turn them into a positive drug test for the substance, the Boston Herald reported.
Dookhan worked at the state's Jamaica Plain crime lab, which has since been shuttered amid the allegations.
Dookhan’s motive was unclear to prosecutors, although Coakley said “Dookhan’s ego and need to feel proud that she was an efficient worker” may have been a factor in her alleged crimes, the newspaper said.
Dookhan faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the obstruction of justice charges. She pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday in Boston Municipal Court, according to the Herald.
The paper interviewed the attorney for Jeffrey Banks, a 41-year-old Roslindale, Mass., man whom prosecutors plan to drop drug charges against due to Dookhan’s handling of evidence.
“I think it’s a grave injustice, both what’s happened to him and what’s happened to an extraordinary number of people in this state,” said Banks’ lawyer, Victoria Kelleher, told the Herald.
Coakley hinted that Dookhan could be facing more charges in the case.
“This is not the end of the charging,” she told the paper.
Along with obstruction of justice, Dookhan faces charges of falsely pretending to hold a degree from a college or university, because she allegedly lied under oath claiming to have a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts.
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