The new drug lab has been up in operation for eight months in Wake County. The lab has seen almost every drug available from marijuana to hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, LSD and ecstasy.
The CCBI's new drug lab is more than just a convenience for Wake County law enforcement agencies. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby says before this lab opened, investigators depended on the state to test drug evidence.
"For years, we have wanted it," he says. "Lab results were sometimes 60 to 90 days before we could get them. We now can get lab results in a week. So we can move the cases through the system much quicker."
Willoughby says the new drug lab will mean people spend less time in the county jail awaiting trial. He estimates this will save taxpayers at least $250,000 a year, quickly eclipsing the cost of setting up this lab.
Most counties cannot afford their own drug lab, so they depend on the one operated by theState Bureau of Investigation. That is a big reason behind its backlog.