Physical evidence in drug intelligence, Part 1: rationale based on hierarchic distribution of drugs using pyrolysis gas chromatography- Mass spectrometry as an example

John Rowe
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2007, 39 (2), pp. 93 - 106
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A complementary intelligence-gathering tool is described for drug-crime investigation. Scientific analysis and interpretation of packaging materials from seized shipments of illicit drugs will assist law enforcement by creating a more holistic description of each seizure, thus allowing further inferences to be drawn and ultimately assisting in a more thorough understanding of the flow of drugs to or within a particular jurisdiction. The approach is intended as an extension to chemical and physical profiling methods already applied to the actual seized drugs by many law enforcement organisations around the world. Adhesives from 98 rolls of packaging tape were analysed by pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (PyGCMS) for the purposes of determining the types of polymers commonly found in such samples. Using these results as an example, models outlined within this document describe how drug and packaging analysis can complement each other, and how such data can be used in an intelligence capacity. Some limitations of the approach are also identified and discussed.
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