BERRIEN CO., GA (WALB) - The Berrien County Sheriff's Office's new K9 officer is already proving to be very valuable...after just one weekend on the job.
The more than $8,000, ammunition, illegally possessed gun, and several ounces of marijuana spread out on a table at the Berrien County Sheriff's Office Monday morning are what K9 officer Ike helped deputies get off the streets during a traffic stop on Saturday...Ike's first day on the job.
"The actual K9 alerted to the vehicle, a specific area, where the narcotics were found and a specific area where the cash was found," said Berrien County Sheriff Anthony Heath.
Dale Mathis, Wayne Brady, and David Nelson were all arrested and as of Monday were facing multiple drug charges. Nelson was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Brooks County Sheriff Mike Dewey donated Ike to the Berrien County Sheriff's Office and Ike just recently graduated from training. "To get started with a K9 unit is, on the low side, around eight thousand dollars," Sheriff Heath explained.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Office had been without a K9 unit for several years because of budget cuts. Now, instead of having to pay the thousands of dollars for the K9 all the sheriff's office had to pay was a couple hundred dollars for the vet bills and training.
Sheriff Heath said words cannot express how thankful he is and how happy he is to be able to make the county safer.
"Just from an incident where you've taken a gun from a convicted felon that has prior sell charges, he's not going to hurt anybody, he's not going to put these drugs on the street, and he's behind bars where he needs to be," said Sheriff Heath.