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    Illicit Drug Trafficking

Criminal Investigation

The application of stable isotope analysis in the criminal forensics brings unique capabilities to the modern day crime laboratory. Harnessing the power of the unique stable isotope fingerprint makes it possible to determine similarities between different drug seizures and so follow trafficking routes back to their original clandestine source. The same principle can be applied to other criminal materials such as explosives or counterfeit money and goods. Stable isotopes can also be utilised to put unidentified corpses in to geographical context by comparing the stable isotope fingerprint of hair, bone, tooth and nails with known databases to evaluate the life history of the victim.

Criminal forensics publications using our instruments

Our customers use our instruments to do some amazing research in the criminal application field. To show you how they perform their research and how they use our IRMS instruments, we have collected a range of peer-reviewed publications which cite our products. You can find the citations below and then follow the links to the publishing journal should you wish to download the publication.

If you would like to investigate our available citations in more detail, or email the citation list to yourself or your colleagues then take a look at our full citation database.

12 results:

Origin assignment of unidentified corpses by use of stable isotope ratios of light (bio-) and heavy (geo-) elements--a case report.
Forensic science international (2007)
Elisabeth Rauch, Susanne Rummel, Christine Lehn, Andreas Büttner

An unknown male body was found near an expressway in Germany. As different criminalistic and forensic methods (e.g. tooth status, fingerprint or DNA-analysis) could not help to identify the person, multielement stable isotope investigations were applied. The combined analysis of stable isotope ratios of light (H, C, N) and heavy elements (Pb, Sr) on the man's body tissues supported to assign him to Romania. The case report demonstrates an application of multielement-isotope analysis in the forensic fields and its potential.
Tags: carbon , hydrogen , nitrogen , medi , crim , elem

Isotopic ratio and statistical analysis: an efficient way of linking seized Ecstasy tablets
Analytica Chimica Acta (2004)
Fabien Palhol, Catherine Lamoureux, Martine Chabrillat, Norbert Naulet

In this study, the 15N/14N isotopic ratios of 106 samples of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) extracted from Ecstasy tablets are presented. These ratios, measured using gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS), show a large discrimination between samples with a range of 15N/14N values between −17 and +19‰, depending on the precursors and the method used in clandestine laboratories. Thus, 15N/14N values can be used in a statistical analysis carried out in order to link Ecstasy tablets prepared with the same precursors and synthetic pathway. The similarity index obtained after principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis appears to be an efficient way to group tablets seized in different places