New database gives sheriff national reach
By Lora-Marie Bernard
THE SHERIFF’S office has begun using a new online software database to help deputies conduct nationwide investigations.
The LeadsOnline website will help investigators track drug dealers and stolen property and share forensic sketches at a cost of about $10,000.
On a more advanced level, the site also tracks associations between suspects and their contacts.
Sheriff Henry Trochesset’s department began using it on November 1 after it was approved during the October 25 meeting of the county commissioners’ court in response to a request he made for funds for the service in September.
The website describes itself as “the link between investigators and missing items or individuals who may turn out to be instrumental in solving
a homicide, finding a meth lab or getting stolen property back to its rightful owner”.
It reports and records the transactions of thousands of scrap-metal processors, secondhand stores, internet drop-off stores and pawn shops across the country. It also provides a central location for critical information from eBay listings.
Essentially, LeadsOnline monitors the transactions that sellers are legally required to file. In some cases, it provides investigators with important details such as thumbprints and personal data.
The database also contains a “meth monitor” to help law-enforcement agencies identify local drug dealers.
According to the website, it gathers sales and transactions covered under the federal Combat Meth act, which limits the sales of over-the-counter products that contain ingredients common to the creation of methamphetamine.
The website enables pharmacies to report the sales of the products online, reducing cumbersome paperwork that pharmacists had been doing previously.