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The Narcotic and Special Operations Division (NSO) is responsible for enforcing local, state and federal narcotic laws throughout the county which encompasses the unincorporated areas and (9) municipalities, the city of Chattanooga being the largest. The NSO is tasked with narcotic investigations, diversion of precursor chemicals, pharmaceutical fraud and major distributing organizations.

24hr Drug Tip Hotline: (423) 209-7150


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Goals and Objectives

  • To focus the investigative resources of the division against persons and organizations believed to be trafficking in illegal narcotics.
  • To enhance narcotics enforcement in the Hamilton County area through working partnerships with citizens, law enforcement and other community organizations.
  • To assist this agency and other law enforcement organizations with technical support including surveillance, electronic monitoring and other covert type investigative techniques.
  • Provide public information to citizens and organization in our community regarding illegal narcotics and narcotics enforcement.
  • To provide these services with professionalism, courtesy and respect to others.

NSO is a major supporter of the South/East Methamphetamine Drug Task Force, provides TFO agents to the DEA Drug Task Force, FBI Safe Streets and DEA Package Interdiction. Support is rendered by the NSO to various divisions, and agencies for intelligence, undercover operations, tech support, surveillance and K-9 drug detection. As a public service, the NSO conducts presentations on drug awareness, drug identification, methamphetamine lab identification and pharmaceutical diversion.

In October, 2005 the NSO division was expanded to include Highway Interdiction.

Pharmacy Fraud Overview

In the 1990’s Hamilton County, like other communities across the nation experienced a dramatic increase in the diversion of pharmaceutical medication, through prescription fraud.

In 1994, HCSO’s Narcotics & Special Operations Division (NSO) initiated a Prescription Fraud Enforcement Program. This program has created a partnership between pharmacists, physicians, and law enforcement. The program enables the partnership to combat pharmaceutical fraud while providing an intelligence database to forecast future problems within the community.

Pharmaceutical Diversion is the diversion of prescription medication controlled by the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) by theft, deception and or fraudulent means; example: person(s) seeing more than one physician / dentist at the same time for the purpose of obtaining the same or similar pharmaceutical drugs without the HealthCare Professional’s knowledge.

Pharmacy Fraud Objectives

To provide the Medical Field with information that will assist them in identifying “drug seekers”, therefore enabling them to work in conjunction with law enforcement in an effort to provide a solution to the ongoing problem of drug diversion.

Who is Diverting Drugs?

  • Manufacturers and Wholesale Distributors
  • Retail Pharmacies
  • Health Care Professionals (Doctors, Dentist, NursesÉ)
  • Hospital Staff (Support Personnel)
  • Health Care Office Employees
  • Professional Patients

Top Abused & Diverted Prescription Drugs

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Loratab, Lorcet.)
  • Alprazolam (Xanex)
  • Carisoprodol (Soma)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Hydromorphine (Mepergan, Demerol)
  • Acetaminophen with Codeine (Tylenol #3, Tylenol#4)
  • Oxycodone (Percocet, Percodan, Tylox)

Be a part of the Team

If you are a licensed Health Care Professional and responsible for dispensing and or filling pharmaceutical medications that are controlled by the (CSA), and wish to participate in the pharmacy fraud program, please contact the Pharmacy Fraud detective at 209-7150.

You can also sign up for an account on our Pharmacy Fraud website using the link below. Choose “Create New Account” and follow the prompts.

Upon receipt and verification of your account request, you will receive an email granting you access to updated pharmacy fraud alert bulletins and important information relating to current trends affecting law enforcement and the healthcare industry.

Narcotics and Special Operations Division
600 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: (423) 209-7150
Fax: (423) 209-7248
Email: narcotics@hcsheriff.gov

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©2014 Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

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