15N isotopic analyses: a powerful tool to establish links between seized 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) tablets
Palhol F, Lamoureux C, Naulet N.
Laboratoire des Douanes de Paris,
1 rue G. Vicaire, 75141, Paris Cedex 03, France,
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2003 Jun;376(4):486-90. Epub 2003 Mar 29


In this study the (15)N/(14)N isotopic ratios of 43 samples of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) samples were measured using Gas Chromatography-Combustion-Isotope-Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). The results show a large discrimination between samples with a range of delta(15)N values between -16 and +19 per thousand. Comparison between delta(15)N values and other physical and chemical parameters shows a strong relationship between delta(15)N and brand logo or composition. Thus, it could be assumed that tablets from different seizures probably originated from the same clandestine manufacturing source. Hence, (15)N isotopic parameters provide an important additional tool to establish common origins between seizures of clandestine synthetic drugs.

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