Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Detectives recognized for breaking up multi-state prescription drug theft ring

I presented awards last week to investigators from multiple agencies who broke a multi-state pharmaceutical theft ring wide open. The investigation was led by Detectives Paul Thilges, pictured at left above, and Detective Steve Morgan of our South Patrol Property Crimes Section. Here's what they and our federal and local partners did:

What would soon become a massive investigation began with a burglary on January 2, 2011, at the Omni Care Pharmacy Distribution Center in the 400 block of E. Red Bridge Road. Thieves had taken 43,000 pills of narcotic pain killers and Xanax.

Detectives Steven Morgan and Paul Thilges of the South Patrol Property Crimes Section took the case. They reached out to other area police agencies to see if their cities had experienced similar burglaries. They learned the same types of crime had been going on since May 2010 in Overland Park, Kansas City, Kansas, Lenexa, Lee’s Summit and Independence. Detectives Morgan and Thilges called a meeting with investigators from all these jurisdictions in which they all shared and combined evidence. The detectives held multiple meetings and built the case under the leadership of Detectives Morgan and Thilges.

With the help of other members of South Patrol Property Crimes, the Career Criminal Squad, the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals and Independence Police Department Career Criminal Squad, many hours of surveillance were conducted, leads were pursued, search warrants were served and interviews were conducted. All this work resulted in two men being charged in a 10-count federal indictment for a $1.4 million drug-trafficking conspiracy that included nearly 100,000 pills and the illegal possession of many firearms. The FBI has informed KCPD the investigation has expanded into three other states, and they will be pursuing more indictments in the future.
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