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

Jul 20, 2012, 10:00 ET from Texas State Representative Drew Darby

AUSTIN, Texas, July 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas State Representative Drew Darby (R-72) released the following statement today regarding the recent arrest of 16 individuals involved in a methamphetamine production ring in Central 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), a system put in place by legislation Rep. Darby sponsored in the 82nd Session.

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 usually 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.

"The recent Travis County meth bust is a testament to the tremendous skill of our law enforcement professionals and the strength of Texas' real-time, stop-sale technology," said. Rep. Darby. "This is just the latest example of narcotics agents taking full advantage of NPLEx to put meth dealers and manufacturers behind bars for a long time.

"Meth is a deadly drug that affects thousands of Texas families. Combatting methamphetamine production requires a sustained commitment and coordinated effort by law enforcement, retailers and elected officials throughout Texas. NPLEx provides our state with a balanced solution to the meth problem. It targets criminals and ensures that responsible Texans continue to have access to the cold and allergy medicines they need.

"I'm confident that this impressive technology is allowing our law enforcement professionals to finally turn the corner against meth criminals. This bust puts offenders on notice: if you're making or dealing meth, you're going to get caught."

SOURCE Texas State Representative Drew Darby