Friday, May 6, 2016

Typical pre-audit behavior in chemical manufacturing

From the Boston Globe:
A state chemist at an Amherst drug lab got high on methamphetamines or other drugs almost every day at work for nearly eight years, consumed the lab’s own supply of drugs, and cooked crack cocaine in the lab after hours — actions that jeopardize an untold number of cases — according to an investigative report released Tuesday. 
Investigators for the attorney general’s office found that chemist Sonja Farak had tested drug samples or testified in court between about 2005 and 2013 while under the influence of meth, ketamine, cocaine, LSD, and other drugs, according to the report, much of which is based on Farak’s own grand jury testimony. She even smoked crack before a 2012 interview with State Police officials inspecting the lab for accreditation purposes, she testified.
Or, as we call it at Forest City Chemicals, Friday.*

(How did her coworkers not notice her cooking crack in the lab? I mean, I'm as oblivious as the next guy at my lab, but I think I would notice my coworkers consuming the starting materials. I think.)

(*That's a joke, folks.**) 
(**Seriously, though, it is pretty clear that Ms. Farak was deep in the grips of addiction.) 


  1. CD for MA Drug Labs

    White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
    Eight Miles High - Byrds
    Crystal Ship - Doors
    Dead Flowers - Rolling Stones
    Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix Experience
    Just Dropped In ... - Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
    Mother's Little Helper - Rolling Stones
    Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan
    I'm Addicted - Madonna
    Pusherman - Curtis Mayfield
    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - Beatles

    1. You forgot Metallica's "Master of Puppets" and Eric Clapton's "Cocaine".

    2. Casey Jones from the Garteful Dead. In light of the fact that most 70's rockers were on something, there should be no shortage of CD's for this lady to listen to,

      As for myself, I dont have an addictive personality, but I do manage on the music that almost all confessed serial killers listen to, which, BTW, is Trance. Just a coincidence, I think, although some have noticed a few older inactive faculty not appearing at work lately :)

    3. Or Buckcherry's "I love the cocaine"....

  2. The Iron ChemistMay 6, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Man, between her and Dookhan, MA crime labs sure got it bad.

  3. Professional StraphangerMay 7, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Wow, who was in charge of their standards locker? For the few years between undergrad and grad school that I worked in a crime lab, if I needed a drug standard the vault custodian weighed it out to a tenth of a milligram and we both signed the accounting book. That lab must have been a party.

  4. Sounds like the State of Delaware's lab. A BUNCH of narcotics cases went out the window after that fiasco.

    As usual, they rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic and fired the State Medical Examiner and a few lesser minions.

  5. When you really, really, really don't want to notice a problem you just don't. This is so much easier when you closed down state labs and outsourced the work to "manage" the cost of the legal system.

  6. Does anyone know what happen the meth lab that exploded at the National Institute of Standards and Technology? It seems that they forgot about it and did not report any investigation results, arrests, etc.


  7. Why does a state crime lab have the starting materials for meth on hand? I assume they're running analytical samples all day long. Why would they have the materials and glassware around for something like this?

    1. The article says that the lab is poorly funded and the supervisor had to synthesize reference standards for the team.


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