Local & Regional
Wed March 10, 2010
By KWGS News
Oklahoma City, OK – ndividuals convicted of methamphetamine crimes would be required to register with the state under legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
The meth offender registry would be similar to the existing sex offender registry.
"The meth offender registry will help citizens identify potentially dangerous individuals who have been involved in meth production and distribution," said state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore. "The increased public awareness should help deter these criminals from additional offenses or lead to their swift arrest if they return to their life of crime."
House Bill 3380, by Terrill and state Sen. Anthony Sykes (R-Moore), creates the "Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry Act."
Under the bill, all individuals convicted of possession, manufacture, distribution or trafficking of methamphetamine would be required to register with the state.
Individuals in the registry would be blocked from purchasing pseudoephedrine at the point of sale and prohibited from possessing pseudoephedrine.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control would maintain the registry, which would include the following information: name of the offender, date of birth, offenses and conviction, county where the offense occurred, and photo of the offender.
Individuals that fail to register with the state would face two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Under the bill, any individual who unlawfully assists a person on the registry in the purchase of any pseudoephedrine products could face one year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, or both, on the first conviction. Subsequent convictions could result in a two-year prison sentence and fine of at least $2,500 or both.
"This is a common-sense reform that will help us eliminate the scourge of methamphetamine production in Oklahoma," Terrill said.
Over the past two years, a new recipe has surfaced utilizing smaller amounts of pseudoephedrine that has resulted in a boom in methamphetamine production in Oklahoma.
According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the new recipe is responsible for a dramatic increase in meth lab seizures - from 213 labs in 2008 to 690 labs in 2009.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics data collected on customers attempting to purchase pseudoephedrine shows many of them have a criminal history involving methamphetamine offenses.
The proposed Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry will be tied to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics' existing database used to track pseudoephedrine purchases.
The bill has the support of Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics officials.
The legislation has also been endorsed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the trade association representing major U.S. manufacturers of nonprescription medicines.
Individuals who are not convicted of subsequent meth offenses within 10 years could then have their name removed from the registry. Any person who completes a deferred sentence prior to the 10-year time limitation could provide the state a certified copy of the dismissal of the case and also have his or her name removed.
House Bill 3380 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 95-0 vote. It now proceeds to the state Senate.