Cocaine contamination raises questions about R.I. drug lab

This is a file image of cocaine. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island state health officials said cocaine cross-contamination in a drug testing lab is drawing questions about at least 52 cases that involved cocaine.

Their release came after a routine test at a lab that studies the composition and characteristics of different drugs.

In the release officials said in a quality-assurance test they ran last August, they found traces of cocaine in a sample they knew should not have contained the substance.

Officials determined the contaminate came from a previous sample but the incident has since sparked controversy over the legitimacy of their other tests.

“Although this issue arose during analysis of a quality assurance test case, not in relation to an actual criminal case, [health officials] are notifying the the Rhode Island General’s Office of this issue,” State Health Lab Director Glen Gallagher said.

Health officials confirmed that all equipment and testing tools were in working order and the investigation into those 52 cases currently under scrutiny is underway.

Gallagher concluded his release saying that there are an additional 263 cases where impact of this contamination is still being determined.

Categories: News, Rhode Island