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Ohio Attorney General agencies deploy 908 Devices handheld mass spec device to aid LE cases involving illicit drugs

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BOSTON — 908 Devices, a pioneer of purpose-built handheld and desktop mass spec devices for chemical and biomolecular analysis, today announced the critical role of its MX908 – a handheld, battery-powered, mass spectrometry device – for the Ohio Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC). The MX908 provides reliable investigative information in the field with rapid analysis of suspected narcotics and limits officer exposure risk to the dangers of synthetic opioids.

“The MX908 devices are a breakthrough in narcotics investigations,” said BCI Superintendent Joe Morbitzer. “We have been able to deploy the devices statewide to assist task forces and agencies in investigations. Not only do the devices provide instant preliminary results but, more importantly, reduces the risk of exposure to our staff.”

“When just a speck of fentanyl can cause an overdose or death, equipping our task force officers with a device that can safely field test and identify deadly narcotics is a lifesaver,” said OOCIC Executive Director Rocky Nelson. “These devices give our task forces the latest technology to stay one step ahead of the bad guys and keep drugs out of our communities.”

Ohio is often referenced as ‘ground zero’ for the nation’s opioid crisis, having among the highest rates of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the U.S. The last few years have seen the emergence of carfentanyl, a synthetic opioid 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl, further increasing the threat to communities and law enforcement. The CDC estimates that the U.S. will suffer more than 75,500 drug-related deaths in 2020 alone, which would set a record for a second year in a row.

“The device is a game-changer, giving us instant information for investigations, and reduces our exposure to fentanyl,” said Special Agent Supervisor Mick Gyurko of BCI.

MX908 provides investigators the ability to quickly and reliably detect and identify a broad range of fentanyls, opioids and amphetamines with high confidence, and at trace levels, which drastically minimize exposure to risk. The data-based evidence also allows officers to move forward with charges that were not previously possible with other field techniques.

“We are thrilled to assist the Ohio BCI and OOCIC in making informed and safe decisions during active narcotics investigations,” said John Kenneweg, Vice President at 908 Devices. “We understand the complexity and potency of street drugs in Ohio and are honored to equip their force with the best devices for identifying these hazardous substances in real-time and helping their team in decreasing drug crime rates across the state.”

BCI and OOCIC currently have multiple MX908 devices deployed for field testing of narcotics. Both agencies have leveraged the device to help with ongoing investigations. Initial fielding has been promising, and the agency will continue to deploy additional MX908 devices pending available grant funding.

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About 908 Devices
908 Devices makes point-of-need chemical and biomolecular analysis devices ranging from rugged, handheld chemical detection tools to compact, tiny footprint analyzers and fast separation devices. These purpose-built and user-centric devices serve a range of industries including field forensics, life sciences, and other applied markets.