A jubilant Jeff Lucien, jailed for two years after Quincy, Ma., police said he sold them cocaine at a McDonald's near a school, declared “Freedom! Freedom!” as he walked out of court yesterday, reports the Boston Herald. Lucien, 34, is the latest inmate freed in the fallout from the state drug lab fiasco, one of at least 20 people whose cases have been affected so far.
The development has left veteran prosecutors shaken, all because of an allegedly rogue chemist's malfeasance. “It makes me feel sick that the hard work that had gone into prosecuting these individuals could be thrown out the window,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey told the Herald. The accused cocaine dealer had three years left on his five-year prison sentence, but his guilty plea was thrown out and his case tossed back to pretrial status yesterday. “There will be a larger onslaught in the coming weeks of people who have committed very serious crimes who will be let out of jail or face significantly lesser charges,” Morrissey said. “It leaves me kind of speechless that one individual could cause so much damage.”