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Sex offender who had been freed because of drug lab scandal arrested on suspicion of theft

Luis Quiles

Boston Police Department

Luis Quiles

A convicted sex offender who was released from custody in September because of the scandal at the now-closed state drug lab in Jamaica Plain was arrested Sunday morning after admitting to transit police that he stole 13 watches from a department store, authorities said.

Officers spotted Luis Quiles, 41, of Boston, and another man on a subway platform at Chinatown Station at around 10:15 a.m., huddled together in what appeared to be an attempt to conceal items from passersby, MBTA Transit Police said in a statement.

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The officers noticed that both men were holding wristwatches with price tags affixed to them, and Quiles later admitted to stealing the merchandise from a Macy’s department store, said Transit police.

Quiles and the other suspect, Jose Correano, 30, also of Boston, were arrested on charges of receiving stolen property, police said.

Quiles was set to plead guilty Sept. 6, to drug distribution charges. However, prosecutors asked for a continuance because Annie Dookhan, the former chemist at the Jamaica Plain lab who allegedly mishandled reams of suspected drug samples, had tested the drugs in Quiles’s case.

He pleaded not guilty on Monday at his arraignment in the theft case and was ordered held on $500 cash bail, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

Quiles’s lawyer in the theft case, Terry Stone, said in a phone interview that he could not discuss details of the allegation because he had not yet seen the evidence.

Luis Quiles, 41, of Boston, pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $500 cash bail.

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“At the end of the day, he’s going to have an opportunity to present his defense, and he’s going to do it,” Stone said in reference to the pending cases against his client.

He added, “addiction is a disease, and essentially were trying to treat this disease with incarceration.”

Quiles’s lawyer in the drug case could not be reached for comment.

Wark said Quiles is scheduled to return to court Dec. 3, in the drug case, and on Dec. 10, in the theft case.

Quiles has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for heroin distribution and various assaults, Wark said. He was also convicted in 1990 of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or older, according to the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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