WASHINGTON, DC.-U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) announced today that $580,000 is slated to fund technology that tracks ingredients used to produce methamphetamines. The funding measure passed a key House Committee and the money will go to the Commonwealth's Office of Drug Control Policy to be used across Kentucky, once the measure is signed into law.
A major component of any meth operation is a steady flow of pseudoephedrine, often found in over the counter cold medicines. Using a device called "Meth Check," transaction data is captured electronically on point of sale systems at pharmacies and other retailers, eliminating the need for paper records which are error-prone and often of limited use to law enforcement.
"We have to work smart - not just hard - to eliminate the drug scourge," said Rep. Rogers. "This technology gives law enforcement real time data, so we can find these dealers, take down their hidden labs and get these criminals and drugs off our streets."
Laurel County was the first community in Kentucky to launch Meth Check. Within six months, nine meth labs were shut down as a direct result of monitoring purchase logs with this system.
Meth Check enables the compilation of a single electronic database and allows pharmacies to submit purchase transactions directly to law enforcement agencies and eliminates time consuming site visits. The technology also gives investigators the tools to identify shoppers who use various techniques to attempt to disguise excessive purchases.
Operation UNITE, which works to eliminate drug abuse in eastern Kentucky, has dismantled 55 meth labs and removed 5,145 grams of methamphetamine since 2004. With the funding, more Meth Check data from strategic locations across southern and eastern Kentucky will be submitted to UNITE detectives.