Who We Are and What We Do: Forensics

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Museum’s 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum, moderates a panel discussion with members of the Forensics staff from around the country: Jonathan Duffy, Forensic Chemist; Jill Mossman, Digital Forensic Examiner; and Anna Zadow, Fingerprint Specialist.

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Forensic Sciences is to provide quality scientific, technical, and administrative support to the law enforcement, intelligence communities, and the criminal justice system at large, and to assist with the enforcement of controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States. There are three different disciplines within the forensic sciences division: ChemistryFingerprints, and Digital Evidence.


Forensic chemists analyze evidence for the presence of controlled substances using state-of-the-art instrumentation, provide expert testimony in courts of law, support DEA special agents and diversion investigators in their criminal and regulatory investigations, and develop intelligence data used to determine trends in local and international drug trafficking.


Fingerprint specialists use state-of-the-art examination techniques for development and comparisons of latent prints, support DEA special agents in their investigations, assist with clandestine laboratory investigations, provide testimony in federal, state, and local courts of law, and conduct training for DEA forensic chemists and law enforcement officials.

Digital Evidence

Digital forensic examiners recover and analyze digital evidence, provide expert testimony in courts of law, provide investigative support to law enforcement, and conduct training to law enforcement personnel.