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1st Civil Lawsuit Filed In Mass. Drug Lab Scandal

BOSTON — The state drug lab scandal has prompted a federal civil rights lawsuit from a man who says he was wrongfully charged with dealing drugs that were tested at the lab.

The suit (PDF) names former state chemist Annie Dookhan, the commonwealth, prosecutors and a police officer. It seeks monetary damages for the 2010 arrest of Jeffrey Solomon, also known as Jeffrey Banks, for allegedly trying to buy crack cocaine. The suit says police field-tested the substance and found it was not crack cocaine, but Dookhan later said the substance she tested at the lab was cocaine.

Solomon was indicted on charges of possessing drugs in a school zone, which carry much stiffer penalties than a misdemeanor charge of distributing a counterfeit substance. His charges were eventually dismissed after Dookhan was accused of falsifying evidence.

Solomon is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges.

Meantime, Dookhan was arraigned Monday — it was her sixth and final arraignment — on some of the 27 charges she faces for allegedly tainting evidence and compromising tens of thousands of criminal drug cases. She pleaded not guilty.

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