SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The abrupt shutdown of a state crime lab in the eastern part of the state may have a big impact here in western Massachusetts.
Tampered drug testing results may backlog the legal system.
The state is planning to hold special court hearings in Springfield to deal with a potential rush of drug defendants looking to overturn their convictions.
Officials from the Northwestern District Attorney's Office, which represents Hampshire and Franklin Counties, say they do NOT think their office will be directly affected.
Chief Trial Counsel Jeremy Bucci told 22News that drug evidence from cases there are sent to either the drug lab in Amherst or to the State Police Crime Lab in Sudbury.
Chemist Annie Dookhan is charged with obstruction of justice after admitting to tampering with evidence, and not following proper drug testing procedures.
Special hearings will also be held in courtrooms in Fall River, Salem, Cambridge, Dedham, Brockton, Worcester, Barnstable and other courts.
The only hearing date that's been set is for Suffolk County from October 15th - October 22nd.