DEA Agrees to Assist in Testing of Suspected Narcotics

DEA Agrees to Assist in Testing of Suspected Narcotics in Cases Being Prosecuted in D.C. Superior Court

Agency’s Action Will Ease Backlog of Cases, Help New Matters Move Forward

(STL.News) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will perform drug testing at its laboratories on evidence submitted by prosecutors in District of Columbia cases under a new agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves.

The DEA will perform the testing under a one-year agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office following the loss of accreditation last year of the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS), which had been doing the analysis since 2018.  In addition to handling new cases, the DEA will test suspected narcotics in dozens of cases that are now pending in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

“Fentanyl and other dangerous narcotics are leading to hospitalizations and deaths in neighborhoods throughout our community,” said U.S. Attorney Graves. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to act against those who distribute and sell these drugs.  We are especially grateful to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram and the DEA for this significant support.  The DEA’s agreement to test suspected narcotics will enable us to prosecute cases more effectively and efficiently and to achieve justice for those accused of drug offenses.”

The DEA worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and handled drug analysis for Superior Court cases until 2018, when the testing was shifted to DFS.  On May 2, 2021, the ANSI National Accreditation Board withdrew its accreditation of DFS for all forensic evidence disciplines, creating a gap in the testing of suspected narcotics that the DEA’s laboratories now will fill.