More Than 24,000 Tainted Drug Cases in Massachusetts Dismissed: Report

The cases were tossed as a result of a scandal involving former state drug lab chemist Sonja Farak who allegedly worked while high between Jan. 1, 2009 and Jan. 18, 2013

Thousands of drug convictions have been tossed out in Massachusetts because of a former state drug lab chemist who worked while high almost every day.

A report filed Tuesday with the state Supreme Judicial Court says more than 24,000 convictions in 16,449 cases have been dismissed as a result of the scandal.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the dismissals represent a "historic victory" for people wrongfully convicted of drug crimes based on unreliable evidence.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled last October that Massachusetts must dismiss all convictions based on drug evidence tested at the Amherst lab between Jan. 1, 2009 and Jan. 18, 2013, when the lab closed.

Sonja Farak pleaded guilty to stealing drugs from the crime lab in 2014. She was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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