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Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Cocaine Signature Program previously identified 19 coca-growing regions within South America and developed methodology to geo-source cocaine using a combination of trace cocaine alkaloids, stable isotopes, and multivariate statistics. Twenty-nine coca leaf samples collected in 2016 and 2019 from a previously unanalyzed coca-growing region located in Puno, Peru, were analyzed with this methodology. Trace cocaine alkaloids and stable isotopes were compared with other Peruvian regions. Minor differences were observed in the extracted cocaine alkaloid profiles when compared with samples collected from the Ucayali-Huallaga Valley and Cusco-Apurimac regions while the stable isotopes of δ2 H (-177.1‰) and δ18 O (23.8‰) were enriched. Puno's alkaloid and stable isotope results are presented in this publication to assist forensic laboratories and enhance their cocaine geo-sourcing capabilities. Published 2021. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.


Laura M Jones, Kristin E Ceniccola-Campos, David R Morello. Advances in cocaine signature methodology: Alkaloid and isotope profiles of coca grown in Puno, Peru. Drug testing and analysis. 2022 Mar;14(3):519-524

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PMID: 34766462

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