BOSTON - Police arrested Annie Dookhan on Friday for allegedly faking drug results, forging paperwork and mixing samples at a state police lab in a scandal that has lawyers scrambling to figure out how to handle the 1,140 inmates who were convicted using possibly tainted evidence.
Dookhan, 34, was arrested at her home in Franklin, about 40 miles southwest of Boston. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Friday afternoon.
Dookhan’s alleged mishandling of drug samples prompted the shutdown of the Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Boston last month and resulted in the resignation of three officials, including the state’s public health commissioner.
Police said Dookhan tested more than 60,000 drug samples involving 34,000 defendants during her nine years at the lab. Since the lab closed, more than a dozen drug defendants are back on the street while their attorneys challenge the charges based on Dookhan’s misconduct.
Many more defendants are expected to be released. Authorities said 1,140 inmates are currently serving time in cases in which Dookhan was the primary or secondary chemist.
The two obstruction charges accuse Dookhan of lying about drug samples she analyzed at the lab in March 2011 for a Suffolk County case, and for testifying under oath in August 2010 that she had a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a news conference Friday.
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