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‘Dookhan defendant’ rearrested

A Lawrence man who was released from prison because evidence against him was allegedly mishandled by former state chemist Annie Dookhan was arrested on a new drug charge Tuesday, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said.

The stay on a five-year prison sentence given to Pedro Hernandez in 2010 was revoked at his arraignment Tuesday in West Roxbury District Court, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf on a charge of trafficking heroin, Conley’s office said.

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Hernandez, 46, was ordered held on $10,000 bail, but Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley, said that was procedural, since Hernandez will return to prison on his previous conviction.

In 2010, Hernandez was convicted of possession with intent to distribute a Class A substance and possession of a Class A substance, Conley’s office said. The sentence was stayed in December because Dookhan had allegedly mishandled evidence in that case.

Prosecutors said police arrested Hernandez and his stepson Elionel Burgos, 18, after a traffic stop Tuesday in Hyde Park. Boston police had received a tip that an unlicensed driver was operating a 1999 Toyota Corolla in the area, Conley’s office said. When police tried to stop them, Hernandez and Burgos fled the vehicle, prosecutors said.

After a brief chase and struggle, police apprehended Burgos, whom they observed drop 41 grams of heroin wrapped in four bundles, Conley’s office said. Hernandez was also arrested at that time.

A not guilty plea was entered on Burgos’s behalf on a charge of heroin trafficking at his arraignment in West Roxbury District Court Tuesday, and he was ordered held on $2,000 bail, prosecutors said.

Neither Hernandez’s attorney, Robert Tobin, nor Burgos’s attorney, William Lane, responded to requests for comment Wednesday evening.

Dookhan was indicted in December on 27 charges stemming from allegations that she mishandled drug evidence in thousands of cases while working as a drug analyst at the Hinton state lab in Jamaica Plain.

Of the 613 defendants released from custody because of Dookhan’s alleged actions, more than 80 have been arrested on other charges, Wark said. Only 15 defendants had their charges dropped entirely because of the scandal.

Nicholas Jacques can be reached at nicholas.jacques@
globe.com.
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