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.
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.
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.

Source: http://harriscountypublicdefender.org/transcripts/Colca,%20Mona%20HPD%20lab%20(1341051%20%26%201341052)%20%5B1%20of%201%5D.pdf


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