Black Tar Heroin
The DEA Southwest Laboratory (Vista, California) recently received 8 large packages containing dark brown materials, suspected black tar heroin. The packages were marked with either a smiling sunshine logo or the word “Mayey,” and were wrapped either in brown tape or cellophane and carbon paper (see Photos 5 and 6). The exhibits were part of a polydrug seizure made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a residence in Anaheim; in addition to more packages of the brown powder, about 15 kilograms of marijuana, 1.5 kilograms of dimethylsulfone, and sodium hydroxide were also seized. Analysis of the material (total net mass in the 8 submitted exhibits 31.82 kilograms) by FTIR/ATR, GC/FID, and GC/MSD confirmed heroin (calculated as the hydrochloride) varying from 5.2 - 12.7 percent, with most bricks also containing large amounts of noscapine (not quantitated). This was one of the largest ever seizures of black tar heroin in California history.