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Two released from prison in aftermath of scandal

DEDHAM — In two early cases of fallout from the state drug lab scandal, two men convicted in drug cases walked free from Norfolk Superior Court today.

David Danielli was released 2½ years early from prison by Superior Court Judge Paul Troy. Danielli walked out of the courthouse without speaking to reporters and climbed into a car driven by his daughter. His attorney, John T. Martin, told reporters that since the evidence against Danielli was tainted, Danielli should not be kept behind bars.

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Quincy police arrested Danielli March 26, 2011, after observing what they suspected was a drug deal. Danielli was pulled over on Quincy Shore Drive and allegedly possessed 585 oxycodone pills, along with $3,917 in cash.

At about the same time Danielli was being released today, in the same courthouse, Judge Kenneth Fishman released Mark Troisi from state prison, where he was serving a sentence of five years and a day for cocaine possession.

Charges were filed against Troisi in 2010 after Dedham police searched his home and allegedly found more than 300 grams of cocaine, 25 pounds of marijuana, and nearly $8,000 in cash.

The two men may just be the beginning of a wave. Officials are examining thousands of drug cases because of alleged mishandling of drug evidence at the now-closed state drug lab in Jamaica Plain.

Chemist Annie Dookhan, who is at the epicenter of the controversy, may have handled as many as 60,000 drug samples, in 34,000 cases. Some or all of the evidence may be tainted, officials have said.

The state has launched an effort to identify which cases have been affected. Law enforcement officials said from the beginning they were concerned that people might have been imprisoned based on evidence that had been mishandled.

Dookhan allegedly altered the weight of drugs, did not calibrate machines correctly, and manipulated samples to test as drugs when they were not. Her alleged motive isn’t clear.

Kay Lazar of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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