Lab Uses Wrong Chemical in 2,500 Methamphetamine Test in Santa Clara County

Posted by: on May 8, 2014 | No Comments

Earlier this year Mark Burry, crime analyst at Santa Clara County Lab, used the wrong chemical to conduct preliminary methamphetamine tests on the blood samples of 2,500 arrestees.

In January, Burry apparently grabbed the wrong solution off a shelf and loaded a machine with a more sensitive compound. Another analyst discovered the mistake in March and after retesting the samples, only seven tests had shown a false positive. Fortunately no one is in custody because of a mistaken test. The Santa Clara County Lab is taking extra precautions to better label it chemicals and is conducting a wholesale review of procedures.

Because of his mistake, Mark Burry is no longer assigned to drug testing at Santa Clara County Crime Lab. District Attorney Jess Rosen stated, “Human error will always exist within the criminal justice system; however, it is vital that we quickly find any mistakes and quickly fix them. We did that in this case.”

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Source: San Jose Mercury News

[Abstract written by Noel Andres, ForensIQ Intern, 5/8/14]

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