‘Dookhan defendant’ rearrested on trafficking charges, will go back to prison
A Lawrence man who was released from prison because evidence against him was allegedly mishandled by state chemist Annie Dookhan was rearrested on new drug trafficking charges Tuesday, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said.
Pedro Hernandez, 46, had the stay on his five-year prison sentence revoked at his arraignment Tuesday in West Roxbury District Court, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said in a statement. Hernandez had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf to charges of trafficking in heroin, Conley’s office said.
Hernandez was ordered held on $10,000 bail, but Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley, said this was just procedural since Hernandez will be sent back to prison on his previous conviction.
Hernandez was convicted in 2010 of possession with intent to distribute a Class A substance and possession of a Class A substance, Conley’s office also said. His sentence was stayed in December because Dookhan had allegedly mishandled evidence in that case.
Prosecutors said police arrested Hernandez and his stepson Elionel Burgos, 18, after a traffic stop in Hyde Park on Tuesday. The incident occurred when Boston police received a tip that an unlicensed driver was operating a 1999 Toyota Corolla in the area, Conley’s office said. When police tried to stop them, Hernandez and Burgos allegedly fled from the vehicle, prosecutors said.
After a brief chase and struggle, police apprehended Burgos, who they observed drop 41 grams of heroin wrapped in four bundles, according to Conley’s office. Hernandez was also arrested at that time.
Burgos had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf to charges of heroin trafficking at his arraignment in West Roxbury District Court Tuesday, and he was ordered held on $2,000 bail, prosecutors said.
Neither Hernandez’s attorney Robert Tobin nor Burgos’s attorney William Lane returned requests for comment Wednesday evening.
Dookhan was indicted in December on 27 charges over allegations that she mishandled drug evidence in thousands of cases while working as a drug analyst at the Hinton state lab in Jamaica Plain.
Of the 613 defendants released from custody because of Dookhan’s alleged actions, over 80 have been rearrested on other charges, Wark said. Only 15 defendants had their charges dropped entirely because of the scandal.Nicholas Jacques can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.