At least 52 drug cases involving cocaine in Rhode Island are under scrutiny after an incident at a state lab revealed cross-contamination of test samples.
The Rhode Island Department of Health discovered the issue during a routine quality assurance test at its forensic drug chemistry lab.
One of the lab’s scientists reported a trace amount of cocaine in a sample that should not have had any traces of cocaine.
As a result, the Attorney General’s office has ordered the samples to be retested.
Most of the cases are minor drug cases, but they will be looked at closer now.
The scientist in question has been removed from testing drug cases involving cocaine until they can be retrained.
The cause of the cross-contamination is unclear, but law enforcement analyst Steve O’Donnell says it’s good that more eyes will be on the samples for the sake of justice.