BOSTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley recommended 5-to-7 years in prison for Annie Dookhan for allegedly falsifying hundreds of drug-test records.
A sentencing memorandum filed by Coakley Thursday says the drug-lab chemist should get the sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to the 27 charges she faces, The Boston Globe reported.
Dookhan was charged with 17 counts of obstruction of justice, eight counts of tampering with evidence, perjury and falsely pretending to hold a degree from a college or university.
The chemist worked for the Department of Health in the state's drug-testing lab and allegedly falsified records and lied under oath about having a master's degree in chemistry.
Dookhan allegedly told police she only visually tested drug samples as they came through her lab but had recorded that she properly tested them using the lab's equipment, investigators said.
Her actions may have tainted 40,323 cases, said Boston attorney David Meier, who studied her caseload at the request of Gov. Deval Patrick.
Hundreds of defendants have been released from prison because of the compromised cases, 51 of whom have since been rearrested, including one man accused of murder, the Globe said.
"The gravity of the present case cannot be overstated. The defendant's actions not only affected the particular individuals named in the indictments but also the entire criminal justice system in Massachusetts," Coakley's memorandum said.