BOSTON (CBS) – What started with one chemist in the State Drug Lab is now sending tremors through the federal judicial system.
The I-Team has learned two federal convicts, who are violent career criminals, could now have their cases reopened because Annie Dookhan tested their drugs.
Travis Kingsberry was locked up in federal prison for six years after police seized a high capacity sub-machine gun loaded with 87 rounds of ammunition, along with 14 packages of crack cocaine, from his Dorchester home.
Kingsberry’s been convicted of firearms possession, assault and battery, and intimidation of a witness. Prosecutors say the 29-year-old’s violence continued behind bars, with an assault on a police officer and five attacks on other inmates.
Timothy Brown is a career criminal from Roxbury. The 30-year-old Lenox Street gang member is serving time in federal prison for intent to distribute 58 bags of crack cocaine. He robbed a convenience store clerk at gunpoint at age 15, pistol whipped a man, and assaulted a Boston Police officer.
Former Boston Police Lieutenant Tom Nolan reviewed the cases, and says their attorneys could argue these serious criminals should be released because of the tainted drugs.
Because Brown’s conviction is solely on drug charges, Nolan says, “The court could very easily be persuaded to dismiss the charges that landed Mr. Brown in federal prison to see him released to the street.”
Kingsberry was convicted of both drugs and gun charges, but Nolan says because the gun was seized as a result of the drug case, Kingberry’s lawyer could argue that evidence was mishandled as well. He says, “We may see cases where, because of the tainted drug evidence, other evidence associated with it, like a gun, gets thrown out.”
In other words, Nolan says, “We may see that other evidence falls like dominoes.”
Nolan says he does not believe there will be a mass release of career criminals, but says these cases show the potential for a dangerous impact from the drug lab disaster.