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Phoenix police crime lab using new technology to detect trace amounts of fentanyl in blood

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — New expertise within the Phoenix Police Division crime lab can now detect hint quantities of fentanyl in an individual’s blood, one thing that hasn’t been doable till now.

The rationale that is such a sport changer — crimes sliding below the radar due to outdated expertise are actually coming to gentle. “We’re elements per billion concentrations,” mentioned Amanda Gallegos, the supervisor of toxicology on the crime lab.

Gallegos and the LC Triple Quad machine are centered on fentanyl. “It’s nearly 100 occasions as potent than morphine,” she mentioned.

Till now, that efficiency has been the issue, in some instances, affecting prosecution. “You probably may have a person that has medicine of their system that you just’re not in a position to detect,” Gallegos mentioned.

As a result of fentanyl is so highly effective and sometimes lethal, those that survive after taking it solely have a tiny quantity of their system. The LC Triple Quad machine couldn’t detect these hint quantities till the previous few months due to improvements and updates. So earlier than, drivers suspected of being below the affect may get off scot-free with no medicine detected, even when they had been on fentanyl.

This new expertise is now a lot stronger and extra delicate. “At the moment, the fentanyl methodology and opioid methodology we’re utilizing is 100 micro liters,” Gallegos mentioned, displaying a tiny vial of liquid. The expertise shouldn’t be solely being utilized in DUI instances but additionally in sexual assaults and even homicides to assist investigators and prosecutors construct a case.

Gallegos mentioned the brand new potential to detect fentanyl comes at an important time. She mentioned 30% of their drug instances in toxicology now contain fentanyl. “30% is a large improve from simply years earlier than the place it was possibly 5% of our case work,” Gallegos mentioned.

That drop of blood that goes into the machine can produce outcomes extraordinarily quick. “The run time takes about 12 minutes,” Gallegos mentioned. Being a part of that’s undoubtedly very gratifying.”

Despite the fact that that machine can work nearly immediately, the turnaround time for his or her lab to finalize and end a full drug report is normally 5 to six weeks. As a result of they’re utilizing the expertise for these DUI and violent crime instances, they’re solely utilizing it with blood from people who find themselves alive and never something autopsy.

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