DANVERS — If Jennifer Horrocks is allowed to visit her parents and brother this summer, she might have Annie Dookhan to thank.
Dookhan, the former state chemist charged with falsifying drug test results and lying about her qualifications, never touched the 1.5 ounces of marijuana and 2 grams of hashish that Horrocks was charged with possessing and distributing in 2006.
But Dookhan’s alleged misconduct was the final blow to a case that was dismissed yesterday by a Salem District Court judge.
Horrocks, now 25, was a recent Masconomet High graduate living in Boxford with her parents when she came onto the radar of Danvers police for allegedly selling marijuana.
After what police said were three “hand-to-hand” marijuana sales, Horrocks was arrested and charged with not only peddling drugs, but doing so in a school zone, which carried a mandatory jail sentence of at least two years.
Horrocks opted not to risk a conviction and admitted to sufficient facts in her case, which was continued without a finding for two years on the condition that she complete community service.
Horrocks, a citizen of The Netherlands, later took a trip to Europe with her family. That’s when she learned that she was barred from re-entering the United States. Her parents and brother returned, but she was left behind in London, where she ended up going to school and getting a job.
Her case is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of drug cases that led to either deportation or denial of re-entry to the United States.
Unlike many of the defendants in those cases, however, Horrocks is the daughter of a plastics executive who could afford to pursue a lengthy legal challenge.
Lawyer Jeffrey Rubin took the case. His first order of business was seeking a new trial, on the grounds that her former lawyer had failed to advise her accurately about the potential immigration consequences — something Rubin said yesterday is fairly common, given the lack of understanding about how immigration laws work.