Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Seizure of Illegal Internet Drugs from Lexington Area and Eastern Kentucky Shipping Hubs

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 27, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Stumbo’s Internet Pharmacy Legislation Enforced

Attorney General Greg Stumbo today announced that agents of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (KBI) are in possession of drug shipments seized from shipping hubs in the Lexington area and Eastern Kentucky. The packages were shipped to Kentucky residents from four unlicensed pharmacies in Florida.

“In total, more than 7,300 pills, including 4,180 highly addictive Hydrocodone tablets and 3,122 Alprazolam (Xanax) pills were taken off the streets and out of the hands of addicts and dealers,” Stumbo said. “This Office is enforcing Kentucky’s Internet Pharmacy law that targets rogue internet pharmacies.” 

The street value for the seized drugs is nearly $55,000. The drugs were destined for Letcher County, Perry County, Powell County, Estill County, Montgomery County, Clark County, Fayette County, Knott County, Madison County and Bourbon County. 

The Attorney General worked with the DEA, Kentucky’s prosecutors, Kentucky State Police, Lexington and Louisville Police, The Justice Cabinet and the Board of Pharmacy and Drug Control Branch of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to target illegal internet pharmacies through creation of Senate Bill 63.

“Together, we drafted one of the strongest laws in the nation to protect Kentuckians from the danger of these drugs,” Stumbo added. “Shipping hubs across the state are to be commended for their vigilance in recognizing when packages arriving at their hubs are not from a registered internet pharmacy.”

The law forbids the sale and shipment of drugs by unlicensed Internet pharmacies. Already, many unlicensed pharmacies refuse to ship to Kentucky due to the penalties now in place. Attorney General Stumbo’s initiative ensures that prescriptions will be filled by legitimate, reputable pharmacies, while pushers will face felonies for selling drugs illegally. The KBI is now actively enforcing this law.

A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that Opioid prescription painkillers, like the Hydrocodone seized today, cause more drug overdoses in the United States than either cocaine or heroin,” said KBI Commissioner David James. “Unfortunately, the demand for these drugs has reached epidemic proportions in Kentucky as evidenced by the influx of shipments to residents who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to obtain these painkillers illegally.”

The new law requires Internet pharmacies to abide by the rules or face felony charges. Drug sellers must obtain a permit from the Board of Pharmacy. A toll-free number where patients can consult with a qualified pharmacist must be maintained. Pharmacies must also comply with the KASPER monitoring system and display certification that it is a “Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site.”

KBI agents are working in cooperation with Kentucky State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, Kentucky National Guard, Florida Office of the Attorney General and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in its efforts to crack down on rogue Internet Pharmacies shipping drugs into Kentucky.

“We urge commercial carriers to be alert to what is passing through their hubs and call upon them to alert the KBI of suspicious packages from unlicensed pharmacies,” Stumbo said.

Drug shipments seized from an unlicensed pharmacy