DirtyMoney Rev 2

DirtyMoney Rev 2 - Experiment 12.3: Dirty Money - Gas...

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Experiment 12.3: Dirty Money - Gas Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Currency Contamination Introduction The analysis of trace amounts of compounds on items recovered from a crime scene forms a important component of most forensic investigations. The compounds sought may range from controlled substances (drugs) to gunpowder residues. Thus, trace analysis is involved in many types of forensic cases including arson, drug arrests, burglary, homicide, and many others. Today, over 75% of investigated crimes involve drugs in some fashion. The analysis of trace components involves both identifying the compounds present and their amounts. Various techniques can be used to provide this information but the combination of mass spectrometry coupled with chromatographic techniques is a rapid, sensitive and powerful tool in forensic labs. In a 1991 case, Willie Jones was arrested after airport screening dog detected cocaine in his suitcase. The suitcase was found to contain a large amount of cash but no cocaine was found. The money was analyzed, however, and found to be contaminated with cocaine. The state’s case rested upon the assertion that since the large amount of money found was contaminated with cocaine then it must have been used to commit a drug related transaction. The defense argued, however, that much of the money in circulation is contaminated with cocaine so that having contaminated money was nothing unusual and did not imply illegal activities. Objectives Determine by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis if money in general circulation is contaminated with trace amount of cocaine and other materials. Dirty Money: GC-MS Analysis of Currency Contamination 1 © 2004
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Background Trace analysis (very small amounts) of compounds is critical to modern forensic science. A variety of methods have been developed with sufficient sensitivity to detect exceedingly small quantities of material (well below the microgram level; 1 mg = 10 -6 g). One of the most important is the mass spectrometer, especially when coupled with chromatographic techniques. A mass spectrometer operates by ionizing a sample by a stream of energetic electrons.
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DirtyMoney Rev 2 - Experiment 12.3: Dirty Money - Gas...

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