Tighter Ky. Regs Force Interstate Drug Smuggling

FRANKFORT, KY -- Changes in how Kentucky tracks narcotics prescriptions have made it harder for drug dealers and addicts to amass large amounts of pills such as OxyContin from sources inside the state, so they are traveling far to skirt the law, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Sunday edition.

It's about 11 hours, one way, from the Floyd County area to Philadelphia. But for years, people often made the trip to get a prescription for pain pills from a doctor there, then filled the order at a pharmacy nearby, police said.

Upward of 180 people went, some once and some many times, bringing back 50,000 methadone tablets to Eastern Kentucky to sell and abuse; the drug ring also smuggled 150,000 pain pills from Michigan, according to police and court documents, reports the Herald-Leader.

The case is one of several ongoing investigations that point to a marked shift in the diversion of legal prescription drugs for illegal sale in Kentucky.

Changes in how Kentucky tracks narcotics prescriptions have made it harder for drug dealers and addicts to amass large amounts of pills such as OxyContin from sources inside the state.

So increasingly in recent years, Kentuckians have traveled to adjoining states, as well as Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, obtaining hundreds of thousands of pills — worth millions of dollars — to bring home and sell, according to police, the Herald-Leader reports.

Some of the pills come from drug dealers. Some come through prescriptions from doctors who are dirty, or at least not very discerning.

”It's our No. 1 problem ­— people importing pharmaceuticals into this region,“ said Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for Operation UNITE, which covers 29 counties in Eastern and Southern Kentucky.

The state's prescription-monitoring system, known by the acronym KASPER (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting), along with enforcement efforts by police and prosecutors, have combined to push people out of state to look for prescriptions, the newspaper reports.

People seeking pills to sell illegally know that there's a KASPER record when a doctor writes them a prescription, and when a pharmacy fills it. Many drug seekers go out of state to avoid that scrutiny, police said.

”That's one of the ways the drug organizations circumvent KASPER,“ said Randy Hunter, a state police detective, reports the newspaper.

Doctors use the system to spot people who try to get prescriptions from several practitioners, which discourages ”doctor-shopping.“

Efforts to evade the reporting system figure in one of the largest pill cases of its kind in the eastern half of the state, the case in which people traveled to Philadelphia, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright-The Lexington Herald-Leader
www.kentucky.com


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  • by Jill Location: Pikeville on Jul 15, 2008 at 04:56 AM
    From the Post Office and the SSI ck. to the bank to the doctor to the drug store,to the parking lot out back.Now what part of that is out of state.Pull your head out people.Its called propaganda.
  • by jill Location: martin on Jul 15, 2008 at 04:47 AM
    i think all officers should be random drug testes we would see lots not have a job
  • by Tara Location: PikeCo. on Jul 14, 2008 at 05:22 AM
    Yea just go to the court house in Pike and see the Judges and Co. workers with thier eyes, that look like slits in a burnt blanket and runny nose's.I guess it could be a flu like illness HUH.
  • by Earl Location: London on Jul 13, 2008 at 04:10 PM
    Looks like the KSP is putting a big dent in this problem. Good Job.
  • by Money in Genocide on Jul 13, 2008 at 12:16 PM
    Drug smugglers should be punished for making money off of destroying another fellow humans life. YET! The pharmaceutical company's that tested Oxycontin here in the Appalachians in the first first place (thats why it is called hillbilly heroin) gets off skot free and still makes a profit?! In my opionion... If people would make a stand to the pharmaceutical companies and say "We do not what to be guinea pigs for your junk drugs anymore!". It would be a step in the right direction to keep them from testing on OUR people again. The big pharmaceutical companies that look and us as rural,stupid and expendable may never come back again if YOU speak out. I am sure other states will open there eyes to how dangerous this drug really is, but since we here were there first lab rats we have a better understanding on what a deadly/dangerous drug something like oxycotin really is.
  • by ME Location: PIKE COUNTY on Jul 13, 2008 at 08:24 AM
    THEY SHOULDNT PUT PEOPLE IN JAIL FOR THIS USE, THEY SHOULD CONTACT THE DOCTORS, THEY ARE GETTING BILL MONEY OUT OF THESE PILL PUSHERS AND THEY ARE MAKING BIG BUCKS TOO BY SELLING THESE SUBSTANCES TO THESE PEOPLE, CHECK IT OUT AND DONT BLAME THEM ON THE STREET, CHECK YOUR LOCAL DOCTORS, THEY ARE HIGH THEIRSELF, YOU MAY WANT TO GO IN THE COURT HOUSES TOO IN PIKE COUNTY, THEY MAY BE A LITTLE HIGH TOO.
  • by me Location: pike county on Jul 13, 2008 at 08:21 AM
    now you can go to south carolina less than 4 hours to get your pills and also get them prescribed, thats closer than Philidelphia. Check it out.
  • by Jack Location: Pike County on Jul 13, 2008 at 08:06 AM
    There's always a way around the system, if they're willing to travel that far for prescriptions the only way to deal with it is a nation-wide electronic reporting system. As I have always said these people are not stupid; addicted, yes; greedy, yes; but not stupid. For every one that gets caught there's a hundred more that slides by.

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