Real-Time, Stop-Sale Technology Leads To Big Meth Bust in Texas

Jul 20, 2012, 10:00 ET from Texas State Senator Craig Estes

AUSTIN, Texas, July 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently enacted legislation authored by Texas State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) assisted in the arrest of 16 individuals involved in a methamphetamine production ring in Travis County, Texas. Law enforcement officials recently confirmed that the June bust was made possible by evidence generated by Texas' real-time, stop-sale technology known as the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx).

NPLEx, which works much like a credit card transaction, allows retailers to automatically block unlawful attempted purchases of pseudoephedrine right at the point of sale. Law enforcement officials can track purchase (and attempted purchase) activity instantaneously on their mobile phones and computers.

According to a news release published by the Williamson County Sherriff's Office, the meth bust was the product of an extensive, joint investigation by the Williamson County Sherriff's Office Narcotics Unit and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad.  Law enforcement officials used NPLEx to determine that a number of individuals purchased an unusually high quantity of pseudoephedrine in a short period of time. The officers eventually raided a house in Travis County and found a large meth lab. Sixteen people have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity—a first-degree felony that carries a prison sentence of five to 99 years.

"I applaud the men and women from the Texas law enforcement community and the DEA for executing such a successful raid," Sen. Estes said. "Thanks to their work, thousands of grams of methamphetamine were likely kept off the streets."

"I am also encouraged by the continued success of our state's real-time, stop-sale technology. Not only is the system preventing thousands of unlawful pseudoephedrine sales each month, but it's also leading to more arrests and more meth lab busts like this one. The success of NPLEx ensures that our streets will be safer and that law-abiding Texans will continue to have access to the safe and effective cold and allergy medicines they rely on for relief from their symptoms. I expect to see more meth busts as more and more law enforcement officials become proficient with the technology."

SOURCE Texas State Senator Craig Estes