Chemist claimed lab oversight role
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The chemist accused of tainting samples at a state crime lab in Jamaica Plain testified in 2010 that she was in charge of quality control at the lab, which has some concerned she may be connected to even more than the 50,000 cases already in question.
State police are investigating whether the chemist was just sloppy with her samples or if she purposely inflated the amount of drugs she examined at the lab. Under state law the quantity of drugs seized has a direct impact on minimum mandatory sentences.
“I can tell you that all of the district attorneys, the attorney general, and all of the folks who work with me are determined to see that justice is done,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
Experts at the lab tested and measured drugs seized by police; the information is vital to trials.
The chemist who's under investigation for allegedly mishandling drug samples told a Boston jury during a 2010 trial she did more than just testing. She testified saying, "I run the quality control/quality assurance within the drug lab."
She went on to explain she made sure the balances and other equipment at the lab were in good working order and that proper procedures were followed.
“I think that if she was in charge of quality control in that lab then the problem is a lot bigger than the cases that she herself tested,” said Rosemary Scapicchio, criminal defense attorney.
Scapicchio, who represents 17 drug suspects involved, says if the alleged rogue chemist handled quality control, it's possible every case over seven years should be checked.
“I absolutely believe there are defendants in jail that shouldn’t be in jail,” said Scapicchio.
The chemist apparently lives in Franklin. No one answered when 7News knocked on her door.
Governor Patrick says suspects already serving time should have their cases reviewed first.
“I have proposed to create kind of a boiler room, a war room, some folks who can work through the documents and information from different agencies to make sure we get a comprehensive list,” Gov. Patrick said.
The crime lab was shut down Aug. 30.