For Immediate Release - November 12, 2013

"Dookhan" Defendant Convicted of Trafficking Cocaine

Angel Rodriquez, 49, who moved to withdraw his guilty plea because Annie Dookhan was the primary chemist in his case, was found guilty by a jury of trafficking over 100 grams of cocaine in Lawrence Superior Court today.  Judge Mary-Lou Rup sentenced him to eight years to eight years + one day in state prison.

Rodriquez, who is from Lawrence, pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of trafficking over 28 grams of cocaine on January 29, 2008.  He was sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison.  On May 29, 2013, Rodriquez’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea was allowed based on the fact that Annie Dookhan was the primary chemist on his case.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Ashlee Logan proved that Rodriquez was in possession of over 100 grams of cocaine and had the intent to traffic it, based on the fact that the State Police Crime Lab re-tested and confirmed that the substance was in fact cocaine and it weighed in excess of 100 grams.

 “Since the information about Ms. Dookhan’s conduct at the Hinton Lab came to light, this office has carefully reviewed each and every case in which she was involved to ascertain the facts,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “In this case, as in many others, the drugs were still available to be re-tested and confirmed that this defendant was in fact trafficking cocaine.  It is for this reason that I have rejected the wholesale argument that a defendant should be released simply because Ms. Dookhan had some involvement in their case.”

Rodriquez was represented by Attorney Victoria Ranieri and received 2401 days credit toward his sentence.