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Guidance for Improved Detection of Drugs Used to Facilitate Crimes

LeBeau, Marc A PhD

doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e31816791d7
Proceedings Paper

Reports of drug-facilitated crimes have significantly increased since the mid-1990s. When individuals report that they were robbed or assaulted while incapacitated by a drug, toxicologic testing may be needed to help substantiate the alleged victim's claims. Most often, these cases have involved strong central nervous system depressant drugs, which have the capability of preventing individuals from consenting to the action of the perpetrator or fighting off their attackers. For all intents and purposes, the drug acts as the offender's weapon, so many jurisdictions require analytical proof of its presence for criminal charges of the drug-facilitated crime to be filed. This article provides information on the manner in which drug-facilitated crimes occur, the drugs that are used to commit these crimes, and recommendations to improve the detection of these drugs through toxicologic analyses.

From the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Laboratory, Quantico, VA.

Received for publication October 3, 2007; accepted November 11, 2007.

Reprints: Marc A. LeBeau, PhD, Chemistry Unit Chief, FBI Laboratory, 2501 Investigation Pkwy, Quantico, VA 22135 (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.