State officials say funding cuts and the closure of several drug investigation labs has led to a backlog delaying more than 30,000 criminal cases from going to court.
Montgomery Regional Laboratory Director Katherine Richert says that nearly 30,400 are unresolved because of understaffing and a spike in cases after the closure of several regional laboratories.
Court officials in one southeast Alabama county say they're starting the New Year with a backlog of more than 300 felony drug cases after a satellite crime lab was closed.
The Dothan Eagle reports the drug cases in Houston County are in limbo as prosecutors await lab results from the state Department of Forensic Sciences so they can take the cases before a grand jury.
District Attorney Doug Valeska says prosecutors were dealt "a major blow" by the 2011 closure of the satellite crime lab in Dothan. He says evidence now has to go to Montgomery for lab testing.