Warwick, RI – Federal DEA agents called in a Warwick Police Department K-9 unit, Officer Aaron Steere and his canine partner, Viking, on Aug. 26, who helped them identify nearly $400,000 in suspected drug money.
Steere met with the federal agents at 10 a.m. They told him they had seized a large quantity of U.S. currency during a narcotics investigation, and required Viking’s nose to sniff out whether any of the cash had an odor of narcotics on it, according to Steere’s report.
Viking is trained to detect the odors of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack and meth, Steere reported. Before the search the agents placed the suspected drug money (sealed in several plastic bags) inside assorted cardboard boxes. Suspected drug money was placed into a separate box each time a search was conducted, until all the bags of money had been screened.
During each search, Steere would let Viking sniff the group of boxes, only one of which contained the suspected drug money. Viking scratched aggressively at each box he detected the odor of narcotics, according to the report, as he is trained to do.
“The K-9 officer and the dog are like a tool,” which federal agents can call on in their work with Warwick Police in cooperation on several task forces, said Lt. Michael Gilbert at the WPD’s Community Services Division.
Using Viking’s skills, almost $400,000 in cash was seized, according to the report.
Steere and Viking are one of two K-9 units at the Warwick Police Department, both of which have received training in drug detection. The officers and canines also assist with community police events, including National Night Out and school visits, according to the Warwick Police website.
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