Rhode Island investigates possible contamination of drug evidence – Boston News, Weather, Sports

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) — Investigators are reviewing hundreds of criminal cases in Rhode Island that could be undermined by possible contamination of evidence at the state Health Department’s forensic chemistry laboratory, Attorney General Peter Neronha said Friday.

Neronha said his office was briefed on Tuesday about what he described as a “possible contamination event.” He said the incident may affect the results of drug-related evidence used by his office, particularly tests to detect cocaine.

Neronha said the problem centered on tests by a lab scientist that may have returned false positives for cocaine. The forensic laboratory has identified 52 potentially affected cases. Another 263 cases are still pending review.

Drug-related court evidence produced by other laboratory scientists — or evidence that did not identify cocaine — does not appear to be affected.

Neronha said he had asked for all evidence involved to be re-examined and for communications to be sent to defense attorneys representing the accused and to police departments.

It does not appear that any of the defendants who may be involved are being held solely on cocaine charges, Neronha added.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/regional/rhode-island/rhode-island-probing-possible-contamination-of-drug-evidence/ Rhode Island investigates possible contamination of drug evidence – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Sarah Y. Kim

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