Office of Drug Control Policy
KENTUCKY PARTICIPATES IN DRUG ENFORCEMENT OPERATION
FRANKFORT, Ky. – State police, local law enforcement, sheriff’s offices, HIDTA and multi-jurisdictional drug task forces throughout the nation collectively conducted undercover investigations, search warrants, consent searches, marijuana eradication efforts, drug interdiction and arrest warrants for a period of one week. This collective effort, Operation Byrne Drugs II, was conducted from April 23-29 to highlight the need and effectiveness of the Byrne grant funding and the impact cuts to this funding could have on local and statewide drug enforcement.
The Edward Byrne grant program is named for a New York City police officer who was killed at a young age by organized drug traffickers who were trying to prevent a witness from being able to testify in a drug case.
“The operation is just one step in Kentucky’s efforts to stop the sale of illegal drugs in our state,” said BG Norman Arflack, secretary of the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet. “We're taking an aggressive approach in order to make the public aware of the critical need for continued funding with the overall goal of cleaning up the streets and providing a safer environment for all of our citizens.”
Statewide, last week's operation resulted in 491 arrests, 30 search warrants and the seizure of 287 marijuana plants, approximately 965 pounds of marijuana, approximately 12 pounds of cocaine, 266 hydrocodone tablets, 950 other prescription tablets, 467 grams of methamphetamine, six meth labs, four drug endangered children, 26 guns, 14 vehicles and $148,201 in cash. Cabinet for Health and Family Services also removed 12 children from homes during arrests and a female was charged with Wanton Endangerment First Degree when she and her newborn tested positive for Cocaine.
“The number of arrests and seizures that each drug task force made is representative of what Kentucky’s law enforcement can accomplish when resources are pulled together to take illegal drugs off the streets,” stated Tommy Loving, executive director of the Bowling Green/Warren County Drug Task Force and president of Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association. “As a statewide organization, KNOA is hopeful that congress will see the value of intensive drug enforcement efforts like this one, and consider the benefits that could be derived by reinstating previous funding levels in the future.”
Laurie Dudgeon, the executive director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, said statistics from the one-week sweep “is symbolic to the dangers and hard work that these units and agents do all year.”
Each year, the United States Congress appropriates money to the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Department of Justice. BJA distributes the formula grant component of the Byrne appropriation according to a state’s population. In recent years, the grant has been the subject of budget cuts, causing agencies across the country to scale back drug enforcement and other criminal justice programs.