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The Boston Globe

Metro

Mass. district attorneys fret at lapses found at drug lab

The state’s district attorneys are taking their concerns over wrongdoing at a state drug-testing laboratory directly to Governor Deval Patrick, drafting a letter critical of the alleged mishandling of evidence and asking for more information to address what they have called a potentially damaging blow to the prosecution of thousands of cases.

The prosecutors and the state’s public defender’s office learned late Tuesday that a chemist at the center of a criminal investigation had been involved in handling more than 50,000 drug samples in an estimated 34,000 cases. Those cases may have to be reviewed to determine whether any evidence had been tainted, a task that could consume significant resources.

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