asking you to make some assumptions and presumptions that
are not valid for them to make and certainly not valid for
you to make beyond a reasonable doubt. And to be blunt, you
will hear them say things that we will show you and we will
say to you are not true. I will be respectful and
professional about that but I will not be shy about that.
You should not believe some of what these officers are going
THE COURT: Thank you, counsel.
Mr. Leonard, please call your first witness. MR. LEONARD: The State calls Mona Colca. THE COURT: She was on her way to the hospital
THE COURT: Have your seat, please. Do you
THE WITNESS: I'm okay right now. MONA COLCA,
having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION Q. (BY MR. LEONARD) Please introduce yourself to the
I'm a criminalist with the City of Houston Police
Department crime laboratory in the controlled substances
Okay. Were you excited about coming here today?
Okay. Specifically what is your job with the
I receive and analyze evidence and I test them for
the presence of a controlled substance and then also come to
I have a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Texas
Tech University. I've also received training with the
Houston Police Department specifically in the controlled
substances section. I've also received training with the
DEA, the FBI and then several other continuing education
Okay. And tell the jury exactly what it means for
When a laboratory is accredited, basically what
they're looking for is that the laboratory is meeting the
standards set by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors
Laboratory Accreditation Board and also the Texas Department
And just in general, give us an overview of your
lab. How many -- how is it set up? How many chemists are
There are -- sorry; I have to count -- eight of us.
And we analyze all the evidence that comes into the city of
Houston. We have one manager. He's the person that assigns
Okay. And typically what kind of evidence do you
Unknown powders, chunks, liquids, tablets.
I want to talk a little bit about how your lab
receives evidence. How exactly is evidence submitted to
The officers will tag the evidence to our
laboratory, either specifically at our headquarters -- we
have a lockbox, which is kind of similar to a mailbox, like
the blue ones where you can put the evidence in but you
can't retrieve it -- and there are also lockboxes at several
different substations within the city and they can also
submit their evidence through there.
Okay. And at the lockboxes throughout the city,
can the officers retrieve evidence once they place it in?
Now, I want to talk to you about some of the
testing that you perform. Is it possible to take an unknown
substance and determine what its identity is?
In our laboratory we perform two tests. The first
test is a presumptive test. There's several different
types. What we do is select which test we'll use and that
test will indicate what substance may be present. Once we
have an idea what substance may be there, then we'll move on
to a confirmatory test that will help us confirm what
What is this presumptive test you perform?
In this case I performed a chemical screening test
and that's basically you just take a portion of the sample
and you introduce reagents or chemicals to that sample and
you look for a specific color change for whatever substance
Okay. And so, you take a -- you take a sample to
do presumptive testing and once you have an idea what the
substance may be, then you do what's called confirmatory
Do you want the specific ones used or just in
There are several different types. One is the gas
chromatographic mass spectrometer, or GCMS. What we'll do
is take another portion of the sample and add a solvent to
it, another chemical, let that dissolve, introduce that to
the instrument and the instrument will then analyze what
that substance is, a graph will then be printed out and we
will check the different references to make sure what that
graph looks like, if it compares to an actual controlled
Another one we use is an FTIR and that sample,
we take and just introduce that straight to a infrared light
and we will then also get a graph and compare that to
MR. LEONARD: Judge, may I approach?
(Mr. Leonard and Mr. Martin whispering.) Q. (BY MR. LEONARD) I'm going to show you what's been
marked as -- I'm going to show you what's been marked as
State's Exhibit 33, 34, 31, 30 and 32. Would you take a
look at those and tell me if you recognize those.
Yes. They each have our laboratory and HPD
incident number, which is 139376311 and my handwritten
initials at the time, which were M.M.
Okay. And the baggages (sic) that they are
contained in, are these baggages that your lab placed around
Okay. But you've seen these before and you
Okay. I want to talk to you a little bit about
these particular exhibits. Did you perform testing on the
All right. Let's start with State's Exhibit 30.
Tell us about what you did with State's Exhibit 30.
State's Exhibit 30 is a ziploc containing a ziploc
containing plant substance. And one of the tests for plant
substance is a microscopic test and we just take a portion
of the sample and we look for characteristics for marijuana
and also we do a chemical screening test, as I had mentioned
earlier. So, this ziploc is 3.83 ounces marijuana.
And you were able to perform confirmatory tests on
And you determined that State's Exhibit 30
What was the weight of the -- I think you said it.
What was the weight of the marijuana contained in State's
This also is a ziploc containing a ziploc
containing plant substance and the weight is 8.88 ounces
Okay. I'm sorry. 33. Is it 33? I'm sorry. MR. LEONARD: May I approach, Judge?
Q. (BY MR. LEONARD) Okay. Let's talk about State's
Exhibit 31. What did you do with 31? Let me ask you: Is
Okay. What exactly is a controlled substance?
Controlled substance is anything listed in Penalty
Groups 1 through 4 in the Texas drug laws. Also Schedules 1
Okay. Let's talk about State's Exhibit 31. What
did you do -- what tests did you perform on 31?
31 is a ziploc containing a ziploc containing a
white powder. I performed a chemical screening test and a
GCMS. The weight is 200.4 grams, contains cocaine.
And does that include any adulterants and
And what exactly are adulterants and dilutants?
The adulterants and dilutants are substances that
are added to a controlled substance to either increase the
bulk quantity of that controlled substance or to increase
Give me an example of what would be a adulterant or
Okay. Baby powder, benzocaine, lidocaine.
It is a ziploc containing torn bag containing a
white powder and that also -- I did a chemical screening
test and a GCMS, 2.1 grams, contains cocaine.
All right. And again, does that include any
All right. And what about State's Exhibit 34?
Is a ziploc containing torn bag containing a white
powder. It is 3.8 grams, contains cocaine.
And does that also include any adulterants and
What was the aggregate weight of all of the cocaine
that you analyzed in this particular case?
I didn't bring my calculator with me. THE COURT: Oh, here. Here's one. Q. (BY MR. LEONARD) Okay. So, over 200 grams?
And what was the aggregate weight of marijuana that
MR. LEONARD: Judge, may we approach quickly?
MR. LEONARD: I guess, Judge, at this time, I
know we talked about it, but I want to at least try to offer
it because there were other drugs found inside the apartment
MR. LEONARD: There were some pills and
some -- basically some pills that were on the sofa found in
MR. LEONARD: So, I didn't know if I needed to
MR. MARTIN: Just some pills? I mean, is that
MR. MARTIN: That's okay. I mean, it was
there in the apartment when they ran the warrant?
MR. LEONARD: I just wanted to approach
(End of discussion at the bench.) MR. LEONARD: Judge, if I can have one second. Q. (BY MR. LEONARD) All right. I apologize. Okay.
I want to show you what's been marked as State's Exhibit 44.
Take a look at this and tell me if you've seen this before.
Yes, I have. It also has the same identifiers as I
Okay. So, you recognize State's Exhibits 44
And did you perform analysis on the items contained
Okay. All right. Let's start with State's Exhibit
44. Tell me about the test that you performed related to
44 is a ziploc, the outer ziploc containing a
ziploc that contains numerous tablets, white tablets, and a
The ziploc containing the numerous tablets, I
performed a GCMS on it and also because they are
pharmaceutical tablets, my second test was a pharmaceutical
identification. It contains 89.6 grams of dihydrocodeinone.
Okay. And what's a -- is there a common name or,
like, a street name for the items contained in State's
It is a ziploc containing a prescription bottle,
which also contains numerous white tablets. I performed a
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer Test, FTIR, and a
pharmaceutical identification. It contains 45.8 grams of
It is a ziploc that contains a bottle and contains
18 yellow tablets. I performed a GCMS and a pharmaceutical
identification on it. It's 4.7 grams, contains alprazolam.
Okay. And is there another name for alprazolam?
Without a prescription -- yes, it is a controlled
It is a ziploc containing a ziploc that contains 11
tablets and crushed powder and I performed a chemical
screening test and I did a GCMS on this. It is 5.3 grams,
contains 1-(3-Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine), which is
Is there another more common name for that?
It is actually a designer drug which some people
MR. LEONARD: I pass this witness. CROSS-EXAMINATION Q. (BY MR. MARTIN) Very quickly, Ms. Colca. When you
talk about the cocaine, it's mixed in with other stuff,
Was it mixed in with other stuff in these exhibits
The package -- I don't remember the State's exhibit
number, but the one that weighs 204 grams, yes, there was
another substance inside of that sample.
Do you separate the two and weigh just the cocaine
and the dilutant or adulterant or weigh it --
The whole thing. Okay. Thank you, ma'am. MR. MARTIN: We'll pass the witness, Your
MR. LEONARD: Nothing further from this
THE COURT: May this witness be excused?
MR. MARTIN: Absolutely, Judge.
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