A New Jersey judge says there could be nearly 15,000 drug cases that were possibly undermined after a forensic lab technician was accused of shoddy work.

The judge held a preliminary hearing on Wednesday to outline the process for vetting conviction challenges. He says the courts are expecting hundreds, if not thousands, of cases.

Suspended lab technician Kamal Shah, who worked at a State Police crime lab in Little Falls, is accused of not properly conducting laboratory analyses, peer reviews or administrative reviews of drug evidence.

His attorney declined comment.

Many defense attorneys have filed motions to have their clients' convictions thrown out and guilty pleas withdrawn.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Williams says his office has re-tested 160 priority drug cases. None were deemed faulty.