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Practical Experiment
Collection of Trace Evidence Using a Pharmaceutical Fold
Materials Needed:
• Three (3)
pieces of 8” x 11” white paper
• A black
pen or permanent marker
• Three (3)
small items, along the size of a dime
• One (1)
roll of clear Scotch® tape
• A pair of
• Notebook
and writing instrument to document findings
Following the example found in this module’s AVP, you will
practice collecting three (3) small items of trace evidence and securing them
in a pharmaceutical (or druggists’) fold.
With each piece of paper, draw a small 2-inch circle in the
middle. This is the “bull’s eye” where you want to “aim” placing your evidence.
Next, using a pair of tweezers to pick up a small item (which should be no
larger than the size of a dime), you will place it in the circle.
Following the directions in the AVP, you will complete the
pharmaceutical fold, and secure your packaging. In essence, you should be able
to contain the “trace evidence” in the center of the package so there is no
obvious route where the evidence can be dislodged or compromised. Once you have
made the final close on the fold, you will place a piece of tape on the area
where the open ends meet. On the taped area, you will sign your initials ½ on
and ½ off the tape areas. See the following image as an example.
This would signal an evidence technician to possible
tampering of evidence by observing if the “evidence tape” was peeled off and
placed back on after opening. When using actual evidence tape, it is designed
to tear if an attempt is made to remove the tape.
Complete this task two additional times, now collecting (1)
a small item which might contain a bodily fluid to be analyzed for a genetic
profile (such as a swab of a fluid or an item containing a fluid) and (2) a
small item which has several pieces (such as cereal flakes that have been
crushed, which can represent a controlled substance or small leafy plant).
Photograph and document your findings: Were the folds easy
to create? Was it easy to maneuver trace evidence into this type of packaging?
Should this fold then be placed in a small manila envelope? Why or why not?

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