Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Greg Stumbo Announces KBI To Train Other Law Enforcement to Fight Internet Drug Trafficking

Press Release Date:  Monday, February 12, 2007  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo today announced that the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is training other law enforcement groups in the techniques and tactics developed to fight Internet drugs. This week KBI Commissioner David James will provide instruction to Louisville Metro Police Officers on new ways to intercept narcotics being sold to Kentuckians by illegal Internet pharmacies. Last week James provided training to Probation and Parole officers.

“Training and teamwork will allow our success to grow,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “In just the last year and a half, KBI has seized more than a million dollars worth of illegal Internet drugs that were headed for communities across the Commonwealth. Traditional law enforcement techniques alone could not shut down this new pill pipeline so my office developed innovative techniques to cut off this dangerous new source of illegal narcotic dealing. We are pleased to share these procedures with other law enforcement to advance the state’s ability to crackdown on Internet drug pushers.”

Commissioner James’ training module includes information about the Internet Pharmacy law - Senate Bill 63 – developed in 2005 by the Attorney General’s Internet Pharmacy Task Force. The law forbids the sale and shipment of drugs by unlicensed Internet pharmacies. The KBI training also provides information about Senate Bill 88, currently pending in the Kentucky General Assembly. Senate Bill 88 is being sponsored by Senator Robert Stivers and includes improvements to the Internet Pharmacy law.

“We must think and act quickly to protect our communities from rampant drug abuse and emerging criminal technologies,” said Stumbo. “The new law will build upon what we have learned from our many recent enforcement actions.”

The new law will require patients to get a medical exam face-to-face with a physician to eliminate the common practice of fake on-line examinations. This will preserve and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship that is the heart of responsible medical treatment. The new law will also ensure that rogue pharmacies are brought to justice and end-users are held accountable. Further, it will provide an invaluable tool to prosecute online brokers who act as go-betweens for pharmacies and drug buyers. Anyone who assists in these illegal purchases of narcotics, including online brokers, will now be subject to tough penalties.

“Smart and innovative policing can meet the challenges posed by cyber drug pushers,” said KBI Commissioner David James. “With the efforts of KBI agents, and other law enforcement agencies currently being trained, millions of dollars worth of abused narcotics will be intercepted. Law enforcement now has tools to combat cyber pushers hiding in the shadows of the Internet.”

Illegal Internet drug shipments typically include highly addictive Hydrocodone tablets and Alprazolam (Xanax) pills. During one bust at a pharmacy in Louisville, KBI agents seized Internet drugs with a street value of $580,000, which included $150,000 worth of anabolic steroids. These steroids are often marketed to young athletes and can cause life threatening medical conditions.

The current Internet Pharmacy law and the new and improved Internet Pharmacy bill are the work of the Attorney General’s Internet Pharmacy Task Force members. Members include DEA, the Board of Pharmacy, Cabinet for Health Services, Chiefs of Police, County Attorney’s Association, HIDTA, Kentucky ABC, Justice/Public Safety Cabinet, Kentucky State Police, Lexington Division of Police, Louisville Metro Police, Bowling Green Drug Task Force, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and Operation UNITE.

“The Internet has a dark side,” said Stumbo. “We have learned this lesson well as we develop rapid responses to emerging online criminal threats, whether it is drug dealing, child sexual predators or computer scams and ID Theft. Our vigilance will remain strong as we continue to meet these evolving challenges in law enforcement.”