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Proceedings Paper

Clandestine laboratory scene investigation and processing using portable GC/MS
Author(s): Raymond J. Matejczyk
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Paper Abstract

This presentation describes the use of portable gas chromatography/mass spectrometry for on-scene investigation and processing of clandestine laboratories. Clandestine laboratory investigations present special problems to forensic investigators. These crime scenes contain many chemical hazards that must be detected, identified and collected as evidence. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry performed on-scene with a rugged, portable unit is capable of analyzing a variety of matrices for drugs and chemicals used in the manufacture of illicit drugs, such as methamphetamine. Technologies used to detect various materials at a scene have particular applications but do not address the wide range of samples, chemicals, matrices and mixtures that exist in clan labs. Typical analyses performed by GC/MS are for the purpose of positively establishing the identity of starting materials, chemicals and end-product collected from clandestine laboratories. Concerns for the public and investigator safety and the environment are also important factors for rapid on-scene data generation. Here is described the implementation of a portable multiple-inlet GC/MS system designed for rapid deployment to a scene to perform forensic investigations of clandestine drug manufacturing laboratories. GC/MS has long been held as the 'gold standard' in performing forensic chemical analyses. With the capability of GC/MS to separate and produce a 'chemical fingerprint' of compounds, it is utilized as an essential technique for detecting and positively identifying chemical evidence. Rapid and conclusive on-scene analysis of evidence will assist the forensic investigators in collecting only pertinent evidence thereby reducing the amount of evidence to be transported, reducing chain of custody concerns, reducing costs and hazards, maintaining sample integrity and speeding the completion of the investigative process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 1997
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2941, Forensic Evidence Analysis and Crime Scene Investigation, (10 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266306
Show Author Affiliations
Raymond J. Matejczyk, Viking Instruments Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2941:
Forensic Evidence Analysis and Crime Scene Investigation
John Hicks; Peter R. De Forest; Vivian M. Baylor, Editor(s)

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