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Quincy drug suspect released due to crime lab scandal

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  September 20, 2012 11:31 AM

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The fallout from the state drug lab has reached Quincy, as a man arrested in the city on drug-trafficking charges in 2011 has been released from prison due to the situation at the lab.

According to Quincy police drug detective Lieutenant Patrick Glynn, David Danielli, who was arrested in March 2011 on charges of trafficking a Class A substance (oxycodone), was brought into court Thursday morning and was able to change his plea from guilty to not guilty.

Since his guilty plea, Danielli has been incarcerated, but was released on personal recognizance after the hearing on Thursday.

Danielli was arrested after police allegedly found him with 830 milligrams of oxycodone -- approximately 800 pills, a street value of $21,000 -- and $4000 in cash.

“It was a good case, excellent mixture of pills, cash, and potential profit that put him out of business. Now he is able to have his case heard before a jury should the [District Attorney’s] office decide to prosecute,” Glynn said.

This is the first Quincy case that has been impacted as a result of the situation at the lab, though Glynn doesn’t expect it to be the last.

“We received notification from Norfolk County DA that we have 1400 incidents or cases that are involving the lab at this time. So that doesn’t mean everyone will get out, some have pled [guilty], some have been incarcerated, some dismissed, but there are 1,400 incidents that we have that are involving the lab at this time,” Glynn said.

Issues at the lab first surfaced when law enforcement officials discovered that Annie Dookhan, a chemist at the state drug lab in Jamaica Plain, may have contaminated drug evidence, manipulated the weight of evidence, or mixed samples.

Dookhan is believed to have handled approximately 60,000 samples affecting 34,000 criminal cases.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Glynn said. “The drug detectives are still going out and doing their jobs every day … [But] if you look at everything as a component to a puzzle, all fit together, but one was faulty, which made everything else questionable.”

In this particular case, the defendant initially pleaded guilty based on the results from the lab, Glynn said

“The protocol of the lab wasn’t followed, so it brings into question admissibility of the evidence, and he pled guilty from information from the lab that was questionable. He had that right, the judge listened to his defense attorney, and there was no resistance from the DA to allow him to change his plea, so it will be reevaluated whether it will be prosecuted or not,” Glynn said.

When the suspect eventually goes before a judge, his record and whether the evidence could be re-analyzed in a different lab will be taken into account, Glynn said.

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