July 3, 2024

PURPOSE: Samples seized from the Southwest border ports of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) were studied by the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) using advanced qualitative and quantitative testing methods at our state-of-the-art facility in Horsham, PA. This testing provides information related to understanding the health risks involved from variable drug potency and adulteration in the illicit fentanyl supply.

BACKGROUND: Seized powders suspected of containing fentanyl were analyzed at CFSRE qualitatively by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and quantitatively by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Select drugs and adulterants identified in the samples were quantified to determine the purity. Thirty-three samples seized between 2020 and 2023 were analyzed originating from seven ports of entry designated as AZ-POE 1 and 2, TX-POE 1-3, and CA-POE 1-2.