Certain members of the law enforcement team have a special knack for finding hidden drugs, and a powerful sense of smell is the key to their success. Police K-9 Dickie is a two year old Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd mix who has worked for the Sonoma Police for eight months, and was credited with a big marijuana arrest last Thursday evening.
At 7:25 in the evening of the 13th, the Deputy handler was traveling with Dickie on Highway 12 out in Sonoma’s famous wine vineyards in the Glen Ellen area, just north of the town of Sonoma. A California Highway Patrol officer who had pulled over a white Nissan Altima flagged down the deputy for some assistance in the stop. According to a Sonoma County Sheriff’s press release, the CHP officer told the deputy that the three people in the car were acting suspicious, and he suspected they may be transporting marijuana. However, the officer had no probable cause that would warrant a search of the car, which was a rental vehicle.
The deputy asked the three in the car what they had been up to that day, and they made confused or conflicting statements. Then he brought out his partner, Dickie, to perform his own inspection of the vehicle. Dickie got very excited at the trunk of the car, indicating that the dog trained and certified to detect narcotics had indeed found something. With this evidence as probable cause to search, the deputy and officer found that the car did indeed contain 50 pounds of processed marijuana in vacuum sealed plastic bags, along with $14,000 in cash.
None of the 3 people were locals from the Sonoma area. The driver, Jeremiah Soria is from Aptos, a coastal town about 130 miles away in Santa Cruz County. The 40-year-old man was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana. Soria’s two passengers, a man and woman in their 20’s, were from New York, and were not arrested in the incident. The marijuana and money were taken as evidence, and the cash may be subject to forfeiture as proceeds from illegal narcotics sales.
Sonoma Index-Tribune: K9 helps find 50 pounds of pot