Local State Crime Lab in Kennewick is Drug Focused - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local State Crime Lab in Kennewick is Drug Focused

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The crime labs you see on TV are pretty cool and we have one right here in our own backyard. The State Patrol runs a crime lab in Kennewick. The crime labs you see on TV are pretty cool and we have one right here in our own backyard. The State Patrol runs a crime lab in Kennewick.

KENNEWICK, WA - A lot of us are big fans of crime shows like CSI or Criminal Minds. The crime labs you see on those shows are pretty cool and we have one right here in our own backyard. The State Patrol runs a crime lab in Kennewick.

In the lab connected to the State Patrol office, scientists are usually testing drugs.

"I analyze evidence for the presence of controlled substances so sometimes there's something present that I haven't seen in awhile or maybe it's going to be a complex matrix," said Forensic Scientist Jason Trigg.

"We see quite a lot of methamphetamine, recently we are seeing more heroin than we used to. Prescriptions. We see a lot of prescription medications," said Lab Supervisor, Dr. Jason Stenzel.

There are a variety of different tests that can be done. Some with instruments and some with chemicals.

"Sometimes materials come in and they are very pure and that makes the analysis very straightforward. Other times, we will do chemical extractions to isolate substances of interest," said Dr. Stenzel.

The local Crime Lab handles cases from most of eastern Washington and around 150 cases are completed each month. The three forensic scientists and one property and evidence custodian work closely with law enforcement and each other.

 

"Each case we put out has to go through a review and another scientist will have to make sure that our findings are accurate," said Trigg.

"I think we're doing a good job of meeting the current needs of our community and we've got a pretty good balance going right now to ensure that we're getting good number out to people that need to know what's going on," said Dr. Stenzel.
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