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Health and Medicine

Lab Tech Allegedly Faked Drug Test Results, Casting Doubt On 7,000 Criminal Cases

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockMar 4 2016, 15:59 UTC
230 Lab Tech Allegedly Faked Drug Test Results, Casting Doubt On 7,000 Criminal Cases
Comaniciu Dan/Shutterstock

A technician at a police laboratory has been accused of making up a test result for marijuana drug evidence, casting doubt into the legitimacy of more than 7,000 possession charges he was involved in.

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Kamalkant Shah worked at a police laboratory in Little Falls, New Jersey, where he allegedly wrote a test result for suspected marijuana evidence that was not adequately analyzed, according to a memo from the Office of the Public Defender.

"Basically, he was observed writing 'test results' for suspected marijuana that was never tested," Public Defender Judy Fallon wrote in the memo. 

Shah worked at the New Jersey State Police Laboratory from 2005 to December 2015, until he was removed from the lab and officially suspended without pay on January 12, 2016.

In New Jersey, legal cases can use laboratory analysis of suspected illegal substances as evidence during drug charges. In light of this accusation, Bonnie Mizdol – the assignment judge in Bergen County – said prosecutors might seek to postpone drug cases in which Shah’s work has been involved, NewJersey.com reports. Although Shah has worked on 7,827 criminal cases, only one case has been singled out so far. 

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The lab said they plan to retest the specimens from all open cases. However, the memo goes on to say: “The larger, and unanswered, question is how this impacts already resolved cases, especially those where the specimens may have been destroyed.”

Local news site NJ.com reports that Shah’s LinkedIn profile says he worked as a forensic scientist for the past 27 years in New Jersey, including a 16-year stint at the state police's equine testing laboratory.

No legal charges have yet been filed against Shah. The Attorney General’s Office have neither confirmed nor denied Shah is part of a criminal investigation.


Health and Medicine
  • Marijuana,

  • drugs,

  • drug test,

  • disrepute

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