Breaking Bad Down Under:
Chemistry and Illicit Drug Investigations
Clandestine Lab Investigations
Forensic Science Laboratory, ChemCentre
While TV shows such as Breaking Bad and Narcos familiarise viewers with the manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs, in reality, these crime scenes are far from glamorous or sophisticated! From identifying an unknown tablet or powder sample to safely dismantling active drug laboratories or giving expert scientific evidence in criminal proceedings, the role of a forensic chemist is crucial to illicit drug investigations. Join Jess as she shares interesting case studies and examples that highlight the varied roles forensic chemists play in the investigation of drug crime in Western Australia.
Jess attended Darwin High School before completing her Bachelor of Technology (Forensic and Analytical Chemistry) and BSc (Hons) at Flinders University in South Australia. After a brief time spent working with the Northern Territory Government Water Chemistry Laboratory, Jess joined ChemCentre and has since gained more than 10 years experience in clandestine laboratory and illicit drug analysis. Jess routinely analyses and reports on clandestine laboratory, drug profiling, and scene remediation cases and has attended over 300 clandestine laboratory scenes in Western Australia. She also frequently attends court to present her reports as an expert witness. Jess is heavily involved in providing training programs to ensure that all staff who attend clandestine laboratories are suitably trained to enable these scenes to be processed as safely and quickly as possible.