Drug Detection Dog Fetches Reward for Pasco Sheriff's Office
Missy the malanois and her handler brought in more than 350 pounds of drugs and thousands of dollars in drug money.
Missy is a drug detection specialist who sniffs the mail in search of illegal drugs.
She is also a dog in the Pasco County Sheriff's Office's K-9 unit.
When she does her job well, she gets a reward, like praise or a rolled-up towel.
Last week, the sheriff’s office also got a reward for Missy’s hard work. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service presented the agency with a check for $13,122 in return for the agency’s work detecting and seizing mailed drugs and drug money.
“When they (dealers) try to use tricks, we have our own secret weapons in the K-9 unit,” said Sheriff Chris Nocco.
Between November 2011 and June 2012, Missy, who is now 6 years old, and her handler, narcotics Detective Scott Grant, found more than 350 pounds of drugs in the mail, including marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines. They also found nearly $45,000 in cash.
About a year ago, the postal inspection service contacted the Pasco Sheriff’s Office about partnering up to find drugs people sent by mail, said Barney Morris, an assistant inspector in charge for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The service does not have dogs of its own.
The inspection service teamed up with several agencies to sniff out drugs in their jurisdictions, including the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies.
It’s “amazing how proficient” K-9 units are at sniffing out narcotics, Morris said.
“These dogs are critical,” Morris said. “It’s not the only tool, but it’s one of the primary tools that we use.”
Missy is a 48-pound malanois who started on the force at the age of 2. She’s high energy, which is a boon in the inspection process, and likes to work. She eventually allowed reporters to pet her.
However, Grant cautions: “She’s not really interested in making friends. She’s interested in finding drugs.”
Nocco says the $13,122 check will be treated as drug forfeiture money and will be used to fund law enforcement and crime prevention.
By the numbers:
Total finds from November 2011 to June 2012: 79
Total marijuana: 343.43 lbs (161.18 of which were in packages addressed to Pasco County residents)
Total cocaine: 6.62 lbs (all in packages addressed to Pasco County residents)
Total methamphetemine: 1.8 oz (all addressed to Pasco)