New testing technology for synthetic drugs

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BREMEN, Ga. - For several years, the crime lab at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was the only facility where law enforcement could test suspected synthetic marijuana that was seized at smoke shops or convenience stores.

But new technology is allowing law officers to do more field-testing that is very accurate and reliable. Some of those tools were unveiled Tuesday at a synthetic drug summit in Bremen.

Drug investigators, counselors and companies that produce testing devices gathered to share information and goals.

One device on display is called a "True Narc," a handheld narcotics analyzer that uses a process called spectrum analysis to detector over 100 different narcotic and synthetic drug compounds.

"The device brings the testing lab to the field," said Thermo Scientific Company representative Michael Nagle.


Another field-testing kit is called the Nark II. The manufacturer said the kit can speed up the process of investigating cases involving synthetic marijuana.

"They suspect they have a synthetic cannabinoid, and they can confirm it so they can make arrests and proceed with their case," said Nark II representative Jack Thornick.

Georgia Tech and the Hall County School system is using a dip stick testing system to check if athletes are using synthetic drugs. It's called "K-2, D-2."

"All they have to do is collect a urine sample in a cup, dip this in, and in three to five minutes you have a result for K-2. We test for 16 different types of synthetic compounds" said Affinto Company CEO Sherry Bender.

Lance Dyer organized the event for two years running following the death of his son, Dakota. The 14-year-old died after smoking synthetic marijuana.

Through the Dakota Dyer Foundation, the father raised funds and with the help of Pioneer Ford in Bremen purchased a Ford Interceptor that will be specially equipped as a synthetic drug response vehicle.

"It will have state-of-the-art synthetic drug testing equipment. We're trying to shrink the time it takes to prosecute someone and get these things off the street," said Dyer.

The vehicle is scheduled to be used by the GBI.



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