In Brief

More than 2,000 charges dismissed after court review of drug tests

By: - September 12, 2022 7:51 pm

A judge was tasked with reviewing thousands of cases after a technician was accused of filing drug test results without screening the samples. (Getty Images)

A Superior Court judge ordered more than 2,000 drug charges spanning a decade dismissed after a review spurred by mishandled drug analyses at a State Police laboratory.

Judge Edward Jerejian’s review was launched in 2016, months after a worker at the lab reported a technician filing test results without screening samples for the presence of drugs.

More than 10,000 charges spanning 7,800 cases across 13 counties were subject to Jerejian’s review.

Individuals whose charges were dismissed may be entitled to reimbursements.

The technician accused of falsifying test results retired before the court’s probe began and was never charged with a crime. His alleged misconduct led State Police drug labs to adopt a more strenuous testing method using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. Previously, lab technicians tested samples by viewing them under a microscope.

Jerejian’s review could not locate information for 523 possibly affected cases, noting they were likely inaccessible because the records had been expunged.


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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.