PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona's crime lab is making a lot of progress handling drug cases.

Currently, it takes about a month for testing to be done on suspected drugs.

A year ago, it was triple that. In this case, scientists were able to solve a massive backlog before things got out of control.

In the fall of 2017, 2,000 cases were backlogged. As a result, prosecutions took months to accomplish.

It's why scientists turned to technology for help.

They received money to buy 11 devices called "TruNarc."

Each device gives scientists the ability to scan for drugs at a moment's notice.

"For (scientists), it's much faster," said Elizabeth Brady, crime lab manager. "We don't have to do a confirmation test on each sample."

The crime lab also eliminated unnecessary paperwork.

The decision was made to focus paperwork on specific, big-time cases that needed it, as opposed to every case before.

"We felt like we were doing a lot of complete, full analysis that the court didn't need," said Brady.

With those changes, the drug backlog in Arizona has been cut by 98 percent.


Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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