The chemist allegedly involved in the recent state drug lab scandal, which officials say may have compromised thousands of convictions due to evidence being tainted and tampered with, was arrested without incident at her home on Friday.
Annie Dookhan, 34, was arrested in Franklin and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice and lying about having a degree on her resume.
During a press conference on Friday afternoon, following Dookhan’s arrest, Attorney General Martha Coakley said the former chemist’s actions “corrupted the integrity of the criminal justice system.”
“The public deserves a criminal justice system that they can trust, and we are committed to holding those responsible for this breakdown accountable and fixing it moving forward,” Coakley said.
Dookhan is accused of allegedly tampering with evidence at a state drug lab in Jamaica Plain over the course of several years.
Officials claim during her nine-year career Dookhan handled drug samples for 1,141 felons currently serving time in a state prison, jail or county house of corrections.
Already, several people serving time have had sentences suspended as a result of the investigation into Dookhan’s actions.
“Today’s arrest is one step further towards making sure there is accountability for corruption of this system,” said Coakley. “As this is ongoing…our goal is to get to the bottom of what happened to determine best we can why this chemist did this.”
Coakley said they have not identified a motive but “it is one laboratory and it is one person.”
Dookhan recently admitted to her role in the scandal, saying she “messed up” during an interrogation with investigators.
“I screwed up big time. I messed up. I messed up bad. It’s my fault. I don’t want the lab to get in trouble,” Dookhan told investigators, according to State House News.
Coakley said Dookhan could face additional charges in the case.
Dookhan was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Friday afternoon and held on $10,000 bail. If she posts bail, she will need to wear a GPS-tracking device.
“This kind of action affects the whole system…repairing trust takes time and will be a complicated project…it will be a long and complicated road but we will get there,” said Coakley.
[image via truetv.com]