Plastic packaging materials (e.g. bags and cling film) are commonly used to wrap quantities of illicit drugs, for storage or to sell as 'deals'. When those plastic packaging materials are produced the manufacturing process will leave 'marks' on that packaging, which may be characteristic of a particular piece of manufacturing equipment and a particular time period in one manufacturing run, on that equipment. Those manufacturing 'marks', along with other physical and chemical characteristics of the packaging material can be used to compare samples of packaging and possibly link them evidentially to a common source.
Police officers find a number of plastic bags filled with powder (suspected to be heroin) hidden in a container in a garden, close to the home address of someone they suspect is the owner of those drugs and a suspected dealer. They search the home address of that person and find no drugs, just a part- used roll of similar, but ordinary, freezer bags. The bags of powder and the roll of bags are sent for forensic examination. The powder is identified as heroin with a total weight of 1 kilogram. The plastic bags used to wrap the powder and the bags on the roll are compared and found to be similar. The forensic report indicates that the bags used to wrap the heroin and the bags on the roll are linked evidentially. The owner of the roll of bags is charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. The police may also apply for forfeiture of assets under The Procceds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).
Our experts have many years of experience of examining and comparing all types of packaging materials and assessing the evidential significance of their findings.