Dog gets the best of high-tech smuggler - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dog gets the best of high-tech smuggler

November 6, 2006

Bainbridge -- The Decatur County Sheriff's office breaks off a big branch of a drug trafficking network bringing cocaine and ecstasy into south Georgia. It's the largest amount to ecstasy pill the Sheriff's department has confiscated.

The bust was possible thanks to the quick nose of the sheriff's department's newest K-9, who wasn't fool by some sophisticated equipment.   

A tip and a Chevy Tahoe helped Decatur County deputies break up a high level drug trafficking ring.  "We received information from a confidential informant that Mr. Walker was bringing up a load of narcotics from south Florida, from Orlando, Florida, and he was going to be in this vehicle," said Lt. Chip Nix of the Decatur County Sheriff's Office.   

Sheriff's deputies stopped the Tahoe along a stretch of Highway 27 south for a traffic violation, but what deputies found inside was some pretty sophisticated equipment.  "If you turn the monitor on, it will show you there's a pin hole camera in the back tailgate back there," said Nix.

In addition to the camera, when you plug in the cigarette lighter, a secret compartment is trigger to open in the dash, disguised as a video monitor. That's where Walker was smuggling drugs.

Decatur County's drug dog, Max, wasn't fooled. "I started him at the rear of the vehicle, walked him around to the passenger side toward the engine compartment, went to the driver's side door, and opened it," said Cpl. Ed Moorehead of the Decatur County Sheriff's Office. "He went right in, worked his way across the front seat, and went straight to the monitor, and began scratching at the monitor on the actual screen."

"We believe that he's delivering to approximately five individuals whose also being investigated and we're going to try and get them in a conspiracy," said Nix.

Police have already arrested Randall Hawkins a dealer in the ring. As for the drugs, cocaine and more than 800 Ecstasy pills are now off the street. "It's going to take them a while to establish the branch back up through south Florida to here, to get that amount of drugs back up to Decatur County," Nix said.

The Sheriff's Department knows someone will try to reconnect the supply and they say they'll be waiting again with Max. The entire bust including the drugs, money seized, and the Tahoe amounted to approximately $90,000.

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