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Second Chemist Accused of Evidence Tampering In Massachusetts

Second Chemist Accused of Evidence Tampering In Massachusetts

A second chemist in Massachusetts has been accused of evidence tampering.

CNN reports that Sonja Farak, who works at the Massachusetts State Crime Laboratory in Amherst, removed a substance that tested positive for cocaine from a case file and replaced it with one that did not test positive.

The 35-year-old chemist was arrested fon Saturday for two counts of tampering with evidence and is also being charged with possession of heroine and cocaine.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley said that the lab called the police on Friday to report a discrepancy in their inventory.

According to ABC News, even though Farak tampered with the evidence, Coakley says that she believes that it will not undermine the evidence.

Coakley said:

“On its face, the allegations against this chemist do not implicate the reliability of testing done or fairness to defendants.”

Farak’s arrest for evidence tampering comes just three months after the arrest of Annie Dookhan, a former Massachusetts chemist at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.

Dookhan, 34, is charged with obstruction of justice, mishandling of drug evidence, and lying about holding a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts. She faces charges in several counties in Massachusetts because she had previously testified in various trials in her former official capacity as a chemist.

The accusations against Farak, however, do not involve falsification of tests or dry labbing (the visual identification of samples instead of performing a required chemical test).

Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to various charges.

It is still unclear if Farak, the latest Massachusetts chemist to be involved in evidence tampering, has a lawyer or not.

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