Kentucky officials have relinquished their supplies of an increasingly rare and controversial lethal-injection drug to the U.S. Justice Department.
The drug is called sodium thiopental, and it is one of three drugs that states with capital punishment use in their lethal injections.
Last year, a company in Illinois stopped making the sedative forcing some states to put their executions on hold. Other states have used substitute drugs, but federal investigators are looking into whether some states—including Kentucky—obtained sodium thiopental illegally.
In March, the DEA seized Georgia’s supply after lawyers raised questions about whether officials broke the law when they imported it from England.
Now Kentucky officials—who bought some of Georgia’s drugs—say they’ve handed over their supply to federal officials.
Spokeswoman for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Jennifer Brislin says state officials are cooperating with the DEA and that the drug is being used as evidence in another jurisdiction. She would not say where.
The Associated Press has reported that Kentucky bought 18 grams of sodium thiopental last year from a Georgia company at a cost of $1.6 million.