(Shutterstock)Good Afternoon, 

Here’s the forensic news you might have missed over the weekend, and what you’ll want to know to get you through your work week:

  • Forensic Botany Puts Illegal Loggers behind Bars

Four illegal loggers have plead guilty to charges relating to cutting down protected trees and one count of violating the Lacey Act that could carry hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and up to five years in prison.

The officials worked with researchers from the University of Adelaide who have created a DNA database for species of “Big Maple”—probably a first of its kind.

Read exclusive coverage by Forensic Magazine science writer Seth Augenstein.

  • After Reviews, DA Launches Online Portal into Crime Lab Probe

The District Attorney in Bend, Ore. has opened an online case portal where the public can go to get information about the current criminal cases under review after a lab analyst was accused of tampering of evidence.

The DA said that transparency and integrity are the “hallmarks” of our justice system, and the public should be kept informed about updates in this case.

Read more.

  • Using Botanical DNA to Fight Property Crime

A law enforcement agency in New Jersey is using a new method of DNA tracking to help identify stolen objects, and help reduce property crime. The tracking method uses botanical DNA that can be seen under an ultraviolet light.

The new program not only helps put criminals behind bars, but efficiently helps victims of property crime reclaim their possessions.

Read more.

  • How Police Use Shell Casings to Link Shootings

Although the expertise has been around for decades, police in Syracuse, N.Y. have recently upgraded their capability to use ballistic technology to match firearms to shootings in their jurisdictions.

In one case, they revealed a single gun was involved in 37 shootings since 2009—injuring nine people and killing one.

Read more.

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