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Judge Slams State In Drug Evidence Tampering Case

Former state chemist Sonja Farak at her 2013 arraignment.
File Photo
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Former state chemist Sonja Farak at her 2013 arraignment.

Four years ago, a chemist with the state drug lab in Amherst, Massachusetts, was arrested for stealing drugs for herself and tampering with evidence.

Sonja Farak's case came on the heels of another scandal in eastern Massachusetts, in which state chemist Annie Dookhan was convicted of evidence tampering.

This week, two reporters from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Amanda Drane and Emily Cutts, looked into a scathing report by judge Richard Carey. In it, he accused prosecutors of misconduct when investigating the fallout of Farak's case, and he said the state dragged its feet in the investigation.

Drane and Cutts told us the two drug labs cases were dealt with very differently, with considerable effort going into the first investigation. 

The Massachusetts Attorney General's office told the Gazette that the prosecutors named in Judge Carey's report have since left for other state jobs.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan said his office will likely dismiss many of the drug cases Farak worked on.

Karen Brown is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998.