• Chemist in lab shutdown handled 50k samples


    BOSTON (AP) - The chemist at the center of a scandal that shut down a Massachusetts state crime lab last week was involved in testing more than 50,000 drug samples.

    State police say they don't know how many of the cases might be affected by the chemist's alleged failure to follow protocols. But the high number of samples involved raises the possibility of an enormous number of legal challenges from people convicted or awaiting trial.

    A forensics official at the state's public defender agency says the chemist handle more than 50,000 drug samples since 2003. They were given to public defenders and prosecutors Tuesday.

    State police say the samples were tested in cases involving about 34,000 defendants. Many defendants had multiple samples.

    Police say they've "acted quickly and affirmatively" to address the problem.

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