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Drug Analysis, Use and Valuation

Drug Analysis, Use and Valuation

Drug Analysis, Use and Valuation

The scientific investigation of drugs-related cases can take on many forms and range in complexity from a basic identification of a substance through to complex profiling and comparison of packaging materials.

Alongside the examination of materials it is typical for issues of drug use and valuation to be considered, together with the significance of drug traces on banknotes, mobile phones and other objects.

Bericon is able to provide a total package of services for our legal clients in the investigation of drug-related cases.

The assessment of test data and interpretation of results in relation to identification, purity, presence of adulterants or excipients, assessing whether drug samples may have originated from the same source.

The examination of packaging is a vital part of the scientist’s armoury and comparison of plastic bags, clingfilms, wraps and foils can be vital when associating a bulk supply of a drug with a street dealer or user.

In more serious investigations a major consideration can be the valuation of a drug seizure and Bericon is able to assess recovered amounts in light of wholesale and retail prices. This is particularly relevant in Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) cases where we often find that the financial valuations presented in the Section 16(3) document are excessive.

In addition, our experts are also able to assess the recovered quantities in regard to an individual’s suggested pattern of abuse and then offer commentary on the likelihood that a substance had been recovered prior to onward sale rather than for personal use.

A large percentage of drug raids are of cannabis cultivation sites and Bericon is able to assess the health of the recovered plants and offer opinion on the likely yield of material from the plants and also the level of sophistication of the site in relation to use of, for example, timing devices, heaters and plant nutrients.

A smaller but significant number of drug raids involve the seizure of items from so-called clandestine laboratories. These are typically units that have been specifically set-up to manufacture illicit substances using chemicals bought from suppliers or via the internet. Typically, such sites are manufacturing amphetamine-based or LSD substances. Bericon is able to assess the scale of the development and offer commentary on the likely success of the synthesis and also the likelihood that the chemicals and processes could have been used for legitimate purposes, which is often a defence case.

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