Does the Controlled Substances Section test evidence from suspected clandestine laboratories?
The section can currently test for organic compounds such as precursor chemicals (e.g. pseudoephedrine) and final product (e.g. methamphetamine) but it cannot test for inorganic chemicals (e.g. iodine and red phosphorus) or solvents.
How did the lab choose which items to test?
At a minimum, routine analysis will include one item of a suspected controlled substance per defendant, per collection date. Items with weighable quantities will be selected before items with residue quantities. Evidence containing syringes will only be tested if results from all other items submitted are negative and only when the syringe contains a visible volume of liquid deemed by the analyst to be of testable quantity. Additional items may be analyzed if:
- No controlled substance is identified in the first item.
- The weight or count (whichever is reached first) is near a legal threshold and there is a potential that testing of addition items will lead to exceeding that threshold.
- The physical characteristics or accompanying documentation of other items lead the analyst to suspect that a controlled substance of a different schedule may be present.
If during the pretrial process it becomes apparent that items not tested will require testing then, upon re-submission, these items will receive top priority at the laboratory.
Why does the report say “No Controlled Substances per Alaska Statutes Detected”?
Two possibilities for why this occurred are:
- No substances were detected with our testing protocols.
- All substances indicated during testing were not controlled and therefore not confirmed or reported. This does not necessarily mean that no psychoactive substances were present.
Please contact the analyst whose name is listed on the bottom of the report if you would like more information.
Why does the report say “Quantity Insufficient for Analysis”?
In the analyst’s opinion, there is not enough substance present to allow for testing of two samples using current protocols.
What does “weight below reporting limit” mean?
This means that the substance was weighed on a laboratory balance but the reading was below 0.10 gram. The statement only relates to the weight of the substance, not its identification.
Why does the laboratory report not agree with my field test results?
While field tests can be useful during an investigation, they can also produce false positives and negatives. The laboratory utilizes a confirmatory test called mass spectrometry that can identify the exact chemicals present in a sample. Because field tests are destructive, the laboratory discourages their use when limited sample is present (e.g. drug paraphernalia). If a field test is performed, do not submit the used kit to the lab.