County K-9 officer helps Homeland Security seize $1M worth of the drug
A patrol dog with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office sniffed out 186 pounds of methamphetamine, stuffed inside two suitcases in heavy brush, on June 17 in the national forest near Mazama.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Gene Davis and his K-9 partner Gunner found the illegal drug while assisting federal Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) pursue a cross-border air-smuggling operation.
Sheriff Tony Hawley said his agency made no arrests in the case. Hawley emphasized that HSI was the lead agency in the investigation.
HSI declined to comment on the case due to the agency’s ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s Office reported the street value of the seized drug to be $1 million.
The Sheriff’s Office has two K-9 teams. In addition to Davis and Gunner, Sgt. Tait Everett is partnered with K-9 Havoc. Both dogs are trained to detect illegal street drugs but not prescription drugs or marijuana.
Law enforcement agencies across the United States are reporting increased use of methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant with more rapid and lasting effects than amphetamine. The amount of the drug seized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) nationwide nearly tripled from federal fiscal year 2014 to 2018.
CBP finds most of the meth it confiscates at the Mexican border. Since Oct. 1, 2017, CBP agents have seized 146,202 pounds of meth at the northern and southern borders of the US as of Sunday (June 23), according to data provided by CBP to the Methow Valley News. Of that amount, only 38 pounds were seized at the Canadian border. This statistic doesn’t include the 186 pounds found near Mazama because it was discovered by HSI, which is not part of CBP.