An elite Louisville task force that intercepted shipments of heroin and other illegal drugs at UPS’ worldwide hub, which is considered a “primary” drug pipeline for the region, has been disbanded in a police scandal, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Louisville Police had led the multi-agency task force for more than a decade, until the FBI uncovered a large theft by one of the task force’s on-duty detectives. “Losing that is a major setback,” said Louisville Metro Councilman David James, head of the council’s public safety committee. James, a former Louisville narcotics detective, said he had assisted task force members several times in intercepting drugs at the shipping hub.
Narcotics investigators across the state are anxiously watching to see if the task force can be restored and operations resumed inside the 5.2 million-square-foot UPS facility, located at Louisville International Airport. Many of the illegal drugs are shipped from Mexican cartels, said U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. Investigators have used drug-detecting dogs to intercept packages headed to Louisville or through Worldport en route to other destinations. “It’s so important that this task force be reconstituted,” Kuhn said. “We’re having productive conversations with UPS. They don’t want to be shipping poison.” The task force was disbanded after veteran detective Kyle Willett, once featured on the true crime TV show “48 Hours,” admitted intercepting packages headed from drug dealers to larger suppliers and taking them to his car several times last year.