Police K-9s Emma, Vinny locate $900K in cocaine, marijuana on Greyhound bus

Composite image of St. George Police K-9 Emma and Washington County Sheriff's K-9 Vinny, animals that located narcotics on a Greyhound bus, St. George, Utah, Dec. 13, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A pair of police K-9 officers combined forces and intercepted more than $900,000 in narcotics from luggage stored on a Greyhound bus, authorities say.

L-R: St. George Police K-9 Emma and Washington County Sheriff’s K-9 Vinny combine forces to find narcotics on a Greyhound bus, St. George, Utah, Dec. 13, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

St. George Police Officers and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Greyhound bus Monday and with the cooperation of bus employees, the K-9 units deployed two dogs, Emma and Vinny, to run the bus, at which point the animals indicated the presence of drugs near a piece of stored luggage.

The dogs’ signals prompted a search of the luggage, where officers found approximately 14 pounds of what appeared to be cocaine and 13 pounds of suspected marijuana that were seized by authorities.

The K-9 units were not working off a tip but rather were near the bus station and became suspicious when the dogs ran around the bus, St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News.

No one claimed ownership of the luggage, she said, so no arrests were made, “but a lot of drugs were seized and taken off of the street.”

Atkin said the street-level value of the cocaine was more than $780,000, in addition to the $127,000 in marijuana that was seized.

“This is just one example out of many that show how these well-trained and hard working dogs benefit our community each and every day,” Atkin said in a Facebook post.

Four-legged crime-fighting duo Emma and Vinny

Police K-9 Officer Emma, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever, has been with the St. George Police Department since January 2017. Emma came from Pacific Coast K-9 in Washington State and serves alongside her partner, Officer Joe Watson, as a single-purpose narcotics detection dog.

Watson has trained Emma to locate four main narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana, and whenever these substances are detected, the animal will sit or lie down beside the source of the odor, just as she has been trained to do as a passive indicating dog.

Vinny, a four-year veteran of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, is a black German Shepherd that was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by Havoc K9 in June 2015 and serves alongside his partner, Deputy Dan Montgomery. Vinny is trained to hunt for drugs and fugitives, as well as assist in search and rescue operations using his highly trained tracking skills.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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