CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More law enforcement officers in West Virginia are receiving training this week on how to stop meth labs before they’re even built.

Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

The NPLEx system was demonstrated in Charleston Tuesday.

The state began using NPLEx or the National Precursor Log Exchange on Jan. 1, 2013. It’s an on-demand, real-time tracking system for medications used to make meth. Christopher Comeaux, a detective with the St. Tammany Parish Police Department in Louisiana, headed up the training session in Charleston Tuesday which included members of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police.

NPLEx allows law enforcement to track how much pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in meth, a person is purchasing while the sale is being made.

“With NPLEx you can focus on real-time activity. When these guys are out there purchasing their ingredients to actually make meth, you can get behind them, tail them, survey them and do search warrants before the lab actually starts,” stressed the detective.

So far this year, St. Tammany Perish law enforcement has busted fewer than a dozen meth labs. Comeaux said that’s because meth makers know police are targeting them and the court system is handing out stiff penalties to those who are prosecuted. NPLEx has had a big impact on those handing down the verdicts.

“What the jurors want to see is how much did this person actually buy, where they’re blocked and they also want to see the information the government is keeping,” said Comeaux.

In the first four months of 2014, pseudoephedrine sales declined 27 percent and Comeaux said that number will continue to go up as more officers receive training for NPLEx.

Comeaux will be in Barboursville Wednesday to conduct a training session. Other sessions were held earlier this year in Beckley, Bridgeport and Vienna.

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  • Jason412


    Nope, I sure don't. I know the majority of police departments don't have the manpower to follow ANYONE buying pseudo, including well known meth cooks, which is exactly why this system does nothing to decrease meth production.

    I see this for exactly what it is. When the legislature is in session debating prescription-only PSE next year the opponents will say "Well the reason NPLEX hasn't made a difference is because the officers weren't trained properly, we need another year to see how effective it can be"

    The opponents will leave out that WV police usage of NPLEX has dropped over 60% this year and that surely there is a good reason for that, and the reason certainly isn't that this is a great tool for fighting meth production.

    This tool is good to secure prosecution after the police stumble upon a meth lab. It will never be more useful than that no matter how much this Louisiana salesman says it will be.

    My post below was wrote very sarcastically, as the majority of my posts on metronews are. I know that does not convey well over the internet, so I apologize for any confusion.

  • Wow

    Have to love Big Brother at work, don't worry , it will only get worse. Just wait and see.

  • Karl

    Jason412, you must believe LEO's are plentiful?

  • Stupid Hillbillies

    What happens when you have a drug dealing liberal demo crooked mayor and "pharmacist" who conveniently forgets to "log" the sales?

  • The bookman

    As I said during that debate, LEO's are going to advocate for every available tool that may assist them in the execution of their duties. With training and practice, officers will gain proficiency in using NPLex. I'm for this least restrictive yet highly effective approach.

  • Aaron

    I'm confused. Last Legislative session LEO's stated the prescription plan must pass because NPLEx did not work. This article implies it was not being utilized. What gives?

  • Jason412

    "When these guys are out there purchasing their ingredients to actually make meth, you can get behind them, tail them, survey them and do search warrants before the lab actually starts"

    I didn't realize the NPLEX system listed who was buying pseudo to make meth and who was using it legitimately. Is that part of a questionnaire you fill out when buying things like Claritin-D?

    Not being able to buy pseudo would be an infringement on my rights, but possibly being "tailed" and "surveyed" for buying something at the store legitimately is no problem!

  • Bill

    Just a dream.