CRIME LAB WORKER BECAME OFFICE JUNKIE
This story is just plain crazy. Massachusetts is the scene of pure chaos after a crime lab worker was busted for years of drug use. In fact, for eight years a woman named Sonja Farak was using drugs on the job in a crime lab. Her habits ended up with her admitting that she eventually smoked crack every day. But since she was using drugs from the very cases she worked on, prosecutors and the state may have to overturn up to 6,000 convictions.
SAID SHE SMOKED CRACK EVERY DAY AT WORK
Farak literally told investigators that she ended up smoking crack every day at work. But she used many types of drugs before she ended up smoking crack. Her menu included methamphetamine, amphetamine, ketamine, ecstasy and LSD. She was using these at work and at home, every single day, for eight years.
AFTER 8 YEARS, COWORKERS GET SUSPICIOUS
Co-workers had evidently noticed that drug samples were missing. Yet it took them years to notice, possibly because Farak didn’t immediately siphon off drugs from their case loads and work stations. But once the coworkers got suspicious, they quickly found traces of crack at Farak’s workstation which raised a big alarm at last. But the scale of the problem proved staggering. She had been doing this every day for years.
JUNKIE LAB WORKER RUINS THOUSANDS OF CONVICTIONS
Once investigators got Farak talking, what she said shocked everyone. She had been using drugs related to criminal cases the lab was working on. She would siphon a bit from powdered drugs and then replace them with baking powder. Farak then altered the database so no one would know they were ever missing. This means every conviction over an eight year period could be overturned, if it was a case she did any lab work on. And who could argue? The state’s cases were literally fraudulent. The lab work was falsified by a junkie, working for the state.
NO ONE NOTICED UNTIL OTHERS’ SAMPLES TEMPERED WITH
But no one noticed this for years. Farak’s behavior never changed enough for anyone to notice. Her productivity, though completely fraudulent, appeared fine. Farak’s coworkers testified everything seemed to be fine. But then they noticed their own lab samples had been tampered with. It’s not like Farak smoked crack every single day. Except, she did.
MASSACHUSETTS HAS BAD MOJO WITH BAD LAB WORKERS
But somehow this isn’t the first massive court chemist scandal in Massachusetts. It was just a couple years ago that Annie Dookhan, a former chemist, admitted to falsifying results and also tampering with evidence. The state had to toss out more than 21,000 cases as a result. But because Farak was a crackhead, Massachusetts will have a bit to figure out for some time to come.