Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

Officers - Election 2017


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David Gouldthorpe 
Chemistry Detail Lab Manager

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


In 2008, I was hired by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a Forensic Scientist in the Controlled Substances Unit. I have since promoted to the Chemistry Detail Lab Manager, overseeing the Controlled Substances and Trace Evidence Units as well as the Clandestine Laboratory Response Team. Prior to working at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, I spent four and a half years as a Criminalist with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona where I was assigned to the Controlled Substances Unit, Clandestine Laboratory Response Team, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Hazardous Response Team.

I became a member of SWAFS in 2009. I have served on the SWAFS Website Committee for several years and am currently a Board member. I am also currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Seized Drugs Subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).

SWAFS was formed 40 years ago with the intent to provide a forum in which forensic scientists could exchange information in order to advance the field, encourage and support research in forensic science, and to stay apprised of the latest techniques and discoveries in forensic science. I would like to help this association promote those principles and encourage members to become more involved no matter their level of experience so that we as an organization can continue to be leaders in the field of forensic science. I ask for your vote to be the next President-Elect of the Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists.


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Azell Carter
Compliance Examiner / Evidence Control Unit Supervisor

City of Pasedena


Azell Carter has been employed in the field of Forensic Science since January 2008. He began his career with the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory as a Criminalist in the Drug Chemistry discipline, and in March of 2012 he became the Quality Assurance Manager/Sr. Forensic Chemist for the Pasadena Police Department Regional Crime Laboratory. While at Pasadena Azell developed measurement uncertainty budgets for drug chemistry and toxicology, led the laboratory efforts in achieving ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, and authored the City of Pasadena synthetic cannabinoid and hallucinogenic ordinance. In addition, Azell was a technical writer for Senate Bill 173 (84R). This bill addresses the control status and emergence of synthetic cannabinoids in Texas, and became Texas law September 1, 2015. Azell’s membership affiliations are with the Association of Forensic Quality Assurance managers (AFQAM), American Society of Quality (ASQ), Clandestine Laboratory of Investigating Chemists (CLIC), and Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientist (SWAFS).

Azell received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Texas State University in May 2006, and a Masters of Science in Pharmacy with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Florida in May 2011. When the Pasadena Police Department Crime Laboratory closed in October 2015, Mr. Carter became the Property and Evidence Supervisor for the Pasadena Police Department and Compliance Examiner for the City of Pasadena. In this position, he has authored and revised several City of Pasadena policy and procedures, taken a forensic science approach to procedurally streamlined the Property and Evidence Unit for efficiency, and is assisting in transitioning the Police Department from the use of chemical filed testing to electronic field testing using Raman Spectroscopy Technology.

Azell has been a member of SWAFS since 2012 and become a member of the Board of Directors in 2015. While severing as a board member, he has helped in planning the 2016 and 2017 SWAFS conferences. Networking within the organization has given him the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about other forensic disciplines. The members of this organization freely share information and are great examples of professionalism. Azell is truly honored to be nominated for President Elect, and if elected, will do his best to display the professional integrity that permeates throughout the SWAFS organization while continuing to uphold the standards of excellence set forth by the previous SWAFS Presidents.



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Donna Williams 
Forensic Chemist (Drug Chemistry Supervisor)

Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences


I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry of Forensic Science from Sam Houston State University in May 2005. Following graduation, I was employed for a year with the Jefferson County Regional Crime Laboratory as a Forensic Analyst in the Controlled Substances section. I have been with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences as a Forensic Chemist in the Drug Chemistry Laboratory since January 2007 and currently serve as a supervisor. I am also responsible for compiling all statistics associated with our section. I have been a Fellow in Drug Analysis with the American Board of Criminalistics since 2010.

I served as the Registration Chair and Treasurer when the IFS hosted the annual SWAFS conference in 2011. During that time, I was able to create electronic forms to track registration and monetary flow through a ledger format. These forms were passed down to the 2012 conference due to accuracy and the ease they provided to conference organizers. Several of these forms are still in use today.

I have served as the Treasurer of SWAFS since 2013 and have managed to update our records to a fully electronic, online system. I look forward to the opportunity to continue my tenure as Treasurer.


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Jennifer Rumppe
Forensic Scientist

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Garland


My name is Jennifer Rumppe, and I’ve been employed as a Forensic Scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety since November 1, 2005. I have spent my entire career in the Controlled Substances section in the TX DPS-Garland laboratory. I received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Chemistry from Beloit College (Wisconsin) in 2003. I served two years on the DPS Controlled Substances Advisory Board and have completed the ASCLD/LAB-International Assessor Training Course. I have been a regular member of SWAFS since 2013 and have attended multiple SWAFS conferences over the years.


Board of Directors

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Brandon Conrad 
Regional Laboratory Manager

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Amarillo


Hello! My name is Brandon Conrad and I am honored to have been nominated for the Board of Directors.

Currently, I am the Regional Laboratory Manager of the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory located in Amarillo. Prior to arriving in management I was assigned to the controlled substance section as a Forensic Scientist. I have had the opportunity to not only perform casework but to also train new employees in the art of drug chemistry. I have also given lectures to law enforcement organizations on the production and dismantling of clandestine methamphetamine operations. I have been selected to serve on the controlled substance advisory board and I have served as chairman of the laboratory’s safety board.

I have been a member of SWAFS since 2003 and I have attended 13 of the last 14 training conferences. I have volunteered to serve on the SWAFS Website Committee and I have had the honor of serving as SWAFS President for two terms (2010-2011 and 2014-2015).

One of the reasons I am a member of SWAFS is the networking that is obtain from our training conferences. City, county, state, and federal laboratories from California to the Bahamas attend, allowing the analyst or managers to expand their knowledge beyond the office/bench. Our organization has always had many exceptional instructors covering the vast disciplines of the forensic community. It will be the focus of my tenure as a Board of Director to ensure the training conferences continue to maintain this high caliber of instruction for our members and guests. As a member of the Board of Director’s I look forward to representing the organization in a professional and dignified manner. I hope to see everyone in Fort Worth!


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Nick Grizzle
Forensic Scientist

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Garland


I am a Forensic Scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s crime laboratory in Garland. I began working in the Garland lab almost 11 years ago shortly after receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with a major in chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station in 2006. I have been an auditor for internal audits of other DPS system laboratories since 2010. I am currently the chair of the Health and Safety committee for the Crime Lab Service overseeing revisions to our Safety Manual and serving as the technical point of contact for safety related concerns and questions. I attended my first SWAFS conference shortly after gaining employment in Colorado Springs in 2006 and have attended half a dozen other conferences since. I was a member of the organizing committee when the DEA South Central Laboratory in Dallas hosted the annual SWAFS conference in Grapevine, TX in 2010 and presented a class during the conference in Oklahoma City in 2015. I have enjoyed the conferences I’ve attended and getting to know and network with my fellow attendees. I welcome the opportunity to serve SWAFS as a member of the Board of Directors and would be honored to do so.


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Eloisa Esparza 
Forensic Scientist IV, Breath Testing Technical Supervisor

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Waco


I am a Forensic Scientist IV Breath Testing Technical Supervisor with the Texas Department of Public Safety and have been employed with Texas DPS since October 2007. I started my career with the Department as a Controlled Substance analyst in Tyler and was certified to conduct blood alcohol testing In June 2012. In November 2014 I made the transition to the Breath Alcohol Laboratory and with it a relocation to Waco. I am certified as an ASCLD/Lab assessor and have served on the DPS Controlled Substance Advisory Board. I have been a member of SWAFS since 2009 and served on the Membership Committee. I am also a member of the International Association for Chemical Testing and the Alcohol Testing Alliance. I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Board of Directors and would be glad to serve in this capacity if elected.


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Derek Sanders
Senior Forensic Analyst

Houston Forensic Science Center


My name is Derek Sanders and I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology. I have been in the field of Forensics for over twenty-five years. The areas in which I been privileged to share my expertise includes Controlled Substances analysis, Toxicology (blood alcohol, blood drug and urine drug), and Breath Alcohol Testing. In those twenty-five years, I have been privileged to work with many analysts that I respect a great deal. I think one of the things I learned from my time is how important it is to do a quality job. Doing a quality job requires not only a thorough understanding of your discipline but also being able to incorporate new ideas and processes if they present a valuable step forward. I do not believe in change for the sake of change unless the change benefits the discipline in real, tangible ways. If elected to the board, I will use my experience and values to properly assess the matters that are at the forefront of Forensics as we move forward in very uncertain times. I believe these include certification, getting more young forensic scientists involved in professional organizations such as SWAFS, consolidation of forensic services, competent and reliable examinations of novel submissions, and probably most importantly - practicing ethics, not just talking about ethics.