Feds Case Against Motel Caswell Dealt a Setback

Disgraced chemist processed evidence on nine cases related to the Tewksbury motel.

The Federal Government's case against Russ Caswell has taken a hit with revelations that a disgraced chemist working at the State Crime Lab may have tainted evidence in several cases related to the Motel Caswell.

A trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 5 in U.S. District Court, in which Federal Prosecutors will attempt to prove that located on Route 38 in Tewksbury, is subject to federal forfeiture laws because of a pattern of drug related offenses committed on the motel property over several years.

Prosecutors were prepared to cite 28 cases, dating as far back as 1994, according to an article published in the Lowell Sun.

However, that number has now been trimmed to 19.

According to Sun article, Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica Lei wrote a letter to the attorney representing Russ Caswell and Tewksbury Realty Trust, stating that she would not be using nine of the cases originally cited. In the letter, Lei acknowledged that former state lab chemist Annie Dookhan participated in analyzing drug samples in those nine cases.

Dookhan is at the center of a scandal that led to the shut down of the state's drug lab in Boston. She has allegedly admitted to tampering with samples and faking results on possibly thousands of samples that came across her desk over the past several years.

Caswell family members have never been charged with a crime, but prosecutors allege they did not do enough under the law to stop the illegal activity on their property.

Caswell's attorneys have accused prosecutors of trying to engage in a "land grab." They say the Federal Government wants to shut down the motel, sell the property for as much as $1.5 million and split the proceeds with the Tewksbury Police Department, as allowed under forefeiture laws.

Bill Gilman October 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM
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bob c October 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM
More normal ???? What an idiot, motel six has just as many druggies plus people shooting at each other. The only reason the cops dont go after them is it's a big company with many lawyers. You dont have to qualify to get a hotel room anywhere, it's not the inn keepers fault .Thank your state for having so many section 8's that they buy them hotel rooms to live in. And as far as property values go remember your on main st in Tewksbury , Somerville with trees, get a grip. I hope none of you ever have the every day money problems that many family's in our country are going through and have to live in a cheep hotel.
Mike Hunt October 18, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Ya you right about that they're not going to go after large motel chains but there usually is more trouble at the Caswell than the Six though
bob c October 19, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Just as many problems if not more at hotel six , Tewksbury police have a big cash incentive to gain if the Caswell goes down so they make sure every little problem is known .
Gone to Florida December 28, 2012 at 06:40 PM
How does the Tewksbury Police Chief justify taking private property for personal & Department gain? Sounds like Land Grab/Criminal activity! Shouldn't the Police Chief be held accountable for wasting time with Washington rather than protecting the Citizens of Tewksbury....WHO ACTUALLY PAY HIS SALARY? Why are small town Citizens being involved in a National land grab test case that would be detrimental to every American from coast to coast who owns property? Is this an example of what the next 4 years will look like? (Un-American activity)


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