Troopers investigate state crime lab


by Your Alaska Link News Team
by Victoria Taylor

ANCHORAGE- Alaska State Troopers have opened a criminal investigation of the Public Safety Department's own crime lab.
Troopers in an announcement say irregularities were discovered in "substance reference standards," the specimens of a drug used in the testing of illegal drugs."It is some of the new equipment that actually resulted In analyst detecting something that seemed off," said John Skidmore, Division Director. 
The irregularities were found in substance reference standards for morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, opium, codeine and amphetamine. An exclusive source revealed to Your Alaska Link, someone from the crime lab had been taking and using drug evidence.

"Known samples are not evidence in a case. So what we've talked about are these irregularities with known samples. That's in no way about evidence in any case. Whether or not it comes out, that may be part of a criminal investigation. I don't know at this point," said Skidmore.

Troopers say foreign matter was found in the standards, used for training purposes and testing reagents.

Skidmore says he does not feel the criminal investigation will have an impact on cases, "I met with folks from the crime lab and dept of pub safety and I assured myself that analysis that's being conducted was not effected by these irregularities."
The crime lab notified its accrediting body and an audit is being conducted of the substance reference standards.
Troopers say Department of Law attorneys are contacting defense attorneys who have cases that involved the irregular standards.

Associated Press contributed to portions of this article.

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