To form anunderstanding ofthe environment in which non-intrusive detection and inspection technologies are required to operate, the Narcotic Detection Technology Assessment Team has undertaken a series of field studies. These field studies have focused on the phenomenology, fate and behavior ofnarcotic residue in real world environments. The overall goal ofthe tests is to give Law Enforcement officers the ability to accurately differentiate between individuals involved in the smuggling process and individuals innocently contaminated with narcotics. Thelatest field study in this series was conducted in Miami, FL in February 1996. The field study comprised several individual tests. The first was a Contamination and Transfer Study which focused on human contamination resulting from contact with actual kilos of cocaine and the mechanism by which this contamination transfers to sulTounding objects, ifat all. The second was a Secondary Contamination Study which focused on determining the conditions under which cocaine contamination transfers from objects touched by individuals who handled narcotics to innocent passerbys. The third was a Persistence Study which focused on the persistence of cocaine contamination on people under a variety of conditions. An overview ofthe tests and their preliminary results will be discussed.
Keywords: Cocaine, cocaine contamination, cocaine transfer, cocaine persistence, primary contamination, secondary contamination