About Forensics Guy

I attended Hartnell Community College in Salinas, California, earning Associate of Science degrees in math and physics. In 1995, I graduated from the University of California at Davis with a B.S. in Environmental Toxicology.

After working for a series of environmental and industrial chemistry firms in the Sacramento and Phoenix areas, I quickly learned there was little personal satisfaction in that career field. I started looking for another career field where I could use the skills I learned in college and in my professional career.

In November of 1997, I applied for a job as a Criminalist* with the City of Phoenix Police Department. With the standard speed at which government moves, I was finally hired in December of 1998. I worked for about a year and a half in the controlled substances (aka drugs) section of the crime lab.

In May of 2000, I was transferred to the firearms section of the lab - mostly due to my personal history with firearms. In high school my first job was at a local firearms sporting goods store where I did minor gunsmithing, and I was also a member of the school rifle club. I competed to the level of the National Small-bore Rifle Matches at Camp Perry Ohio in 1990, and was invited to try out for the US Olympic team. I declined to continue on to college.

I stayed in the firearms section of the Phoenix Crime Lab and was promoted to Criminalist II, reclassified as a Forensic Scientist III in July 2005. In August of 2005, I accepted a position with the City of Chandler Police Department Forensic Services Unit as a Criminalist I. I accepted the position expecting to bring controlled substances and firearms examination disciplines to the City of Chandler. Chandler previously only performed blood alcohol and marijuana leaf identification analysis. Between the time I accepted the position and when I started (about 3 weeks) the lab director left, and the other Criminalist (it was a "two man shop") was scheduled to retire in December of 2005. I had to change gears and quickly learn blood alcohol analysis so the lab would still have someone on staff who could continue to perform all the analysis types. Once my trainer retired, I was the senior Criminalist in the lab after about 3 months. I had to start training my co-worker on controlled substances examination, and try and help her with testimony skills.

After my probationary 6 months, I was quickly promoted to Criminalist II (the first Criminalist II ever with the City of Chandler). I continued training my co-worker in controlled substances.

I am now self-employed as an independent criminalist available for case review and expert witness testimony in DUI and firearms related cases.

*Criminalist is the original name used for a forensic scientist.