Thursday, 07 18, 2013
Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
Attorney General Jack Conway is pleased to announce that Lynne Thompson, an investigator in his Drug Investigations Branch, received the Narcotics Officer of the Year Award presented by the Kentucky Narcotics Officers' Association (KNOA) in Louisville, Ky. on July 17. Thompson was among three detectives recognized for their work investigating pill mill owner Ernest Singleton. Singleton faces up to 20 years in prison following his conviction last month in U.S. District Court for illegally dispensing prescription drugs to thousands of patients.
Thompson has worked as a Drug Branch investigator in the Office of the Attorney General for the past decade. In addition to her duties with the Attorney General's Office, Thompson has worked closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Tactical Diversion Squad. Prior to her employment at the Office of the Attorney General, Thompson served the Lexington Police Department for more than 20 years before her retirement.
"Lynne is a tremendous asset to this Office, and I am thrilled that her efforts are being recognized," General Conway said. "Lynne's work, and the work of my entire Drug Investigations Branch, is helping us combat an epidemic that claims more than 1,000 lives each year in Kentucky. I am proud of Lynne and proud of all that we are doing to rid our streets of illicit pills, so that we may ensure a brighter future for Kentucky kids."
The KNOA also presented Kentucky State Police (KSP) detectives Kevin Willoughby and Hector Alcala with the Narcotics Officer of the Year Award for their work in the Singleton investigation.
General Conway's Department of Criminal Investigations and KSP initiated their investigation of Singleton in June 2011with a focus on Singleton's Central Kentucky Pain Management and Grant County Wellness pain clinics. Throughout the investigation, Thompson worked closely with KSP detectives Willoughby and Alcala. Their investigation revealed that physicians at Singleton's pain clinics in Georgetown and Dry Ridge prescribed more than four million dosage units of oxycodone over the course of a year-and-a-half, often with little or no examination and no legitimate medical purpose.
Singleton was convicted on 21 counts of drug trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy charges. His sentencing is October 10, 2013.
Combating Prescription Drug Abuse
The Attorney General's Drug Investigation Branch and statewide Drug Diversion Task Force have opened nearly 450 cases and made 128 arrests on 394 counts. General Conway's task force also participated in Operation Flamingo Road, the state's largest prescription drug bust that resulted in the arrest of more than 500 people.
In 2010, General Conway launched the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe initiative with the Kentucky Justice Cabinet and its Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), Operation UNITE and concerned parents. Since its launch, Attorney General Conway and his partners have alerted more than 20,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
General Conway also worked closely with Governor Beshear, House Speaker Stumbo, Senate President Stivers and other lawmakers to win passage of landmark legislation in 2012 to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription pills in the Commonwealth. Since its passage, prescriptions for hydrocodone are down almost 20 percent and prescriptions for Opana have been almost cut in half.
Additionally, the latest report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows a decline in the non-medical use of prescription pain relievers among all age groups in Kentucky. The state is also below the national average for prescription drug abuse, for the first time.
For more information on General Conway's efforts to combat prescription drug abuse, visit http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse .